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Health-seeking behaviour of Port Harcourt city residents: a comparison between the upper and lower socio-economic classes

Promise Tamunoipiriala Jaja
  • Promise Tamunoipiriala Jaja
    University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria |


This study aimed at establishing the determinants and distribution of the health-seeking behaviours of Port Harcourt residents, and comparing them between the upper and lower socio-economic classes. A descriptive crosssectional study using 204 respondents was carried out. The socio-economic classification used occupation and average monthly income. Multi-staged sampling technique was used; stage one being by stratified sampling using socio-economic classes for stratification; stage two involved clustered sampling; following which five-sectioned structured questionnaires were administered. Differences (P<0.05) in Health facility used existed: the upper class used mostly Government and Private Hospitals; the lower class additionally used health centres and un-orthodox health facilities. Reasons for using a health facility was similar (P>0.05) as both classes mostly go for treatment or medical check-ups. Health facility preference was mostly for good treatment outcome and accessibility; cost also, for the lower class. Commonly and last used health-care giver differed (P<0.05); upper class mostly saw a doctor, the lower saw the doctor, pharmacist and nurse. Competence; the major reason for health-care giver selection by the upper class differed (P<0.05) from the lower that had previous good treatment outcome and illness severity. The upper socioeconomic classed have better health-seeking behaviours because they use more competent Health facilities and health-care givers.


health-seeking behaviours, health systems management, public health.

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Submitted: 2012-01-26 22:57:57
Published: 2013-09-09 16:47:27
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