Health care seeking behaviour of people with physical disabilities in Bangladesh

People with disabilities constitute about 10% of the total population of Bangladesh. They are more likely to experience poor health than those without disabilities. However, there is a lack of evidence on their primary health care (PHC) seeking behaviour for their general illness. The aim of this study was to understand the PHC seeking behaviour of people with physical disabilities (PWPDs), and to investigate the determinants of such behaviours. Among 282 participants surveyed, 85% suffered from general illness in the past 6 months. The participants in the higher age group, for example, age group 31–45 years and 60+ years were more likely to seek treatment from formal health care providers than the age group 18–30 years. The educational attainment of the primary income earning family member, religion and mobility aid used were determinants for seeking health care from a formal health care provider. Moreover, the type of illness suffered by participant was a strong predictor of their decision to seek treatment from a formal health care provider. The results suggest that these factors should be considered when devising interventions for this population. Moreover, accessibility, quality of care and expertise of the providers in treating disabled people were among the other factors reported by PWPDs which influence their decision to seek health care. In order to provide inclusive health services, primary health centres need to consider these determinants.

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