Dynamics of Health Care Seeking Behaviour of Elderly People in Rural Bangladesh

Main Article Content

Priti Biswas
Zarina Nahar Kabir
Jan Nilsson
Shahaduz Zaman

Abstract

Bangladesh is projected to experience a doubling of its elderly population from the current level of 7 million to 14 million by the end of the next decade. Drawing upon qualitative evidence from rural Bangladesh, this article focuses on coping strategies in cases of illness of elderly people and the contributing factors in determining the health-seeking behaviour of elderly persons. The sample for this study consisted of elderly men and women aged 60 years or older and their caregivers. Nine focus group discussions and 30 in-depth interviews were conducted. Findings indicate that old age and ill-health are perceived to be inseparable entities. Seeking health care from a formally qualified doctor is avoided due to high costs. Familiarity and accessibility of health care providers play important roles in health-seeking behaviour of elderly persons. Flexibility of health care providers in receiving payment is a crucial deciding factor of whether or not to seek treatment, and even the type of treatment sought.

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Article Details

Section
Articles

References

Ahmed S. M., Adams A. M., Chowdhury M. & Bhuiya A. (2003). Changing health-seeking behaviour in Matlab, Bangladesh: Do development interventions matter?, Health Policy and Planning 18: 306–315. [Read this article]


Ahmed S. M., Tomson, G. Petzold M. & Kabir Z. N. (2005). Socioeconomic status overrides age and gender in determining healthseeking behaviour in rural Bangladesh, Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 83: 109–117.


Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, BBS. (2002). Statistical Pocketbook of Bangladesh 2001. Dhaka: Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Planning Division, Ministry of Planning, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.


Barrientos A. & Lloyd-Sherlock P. (2002). Policy arena, older and poorer? Ageing and poverty in the South, Journal of International Development 14: 1129–1131. [Read this article]


Boyatzis R. E. (1998). Transforming Qualitative Information. Thematic Analysis and Code Development. Thousands Oaks: Sage.


Davies A. M. (2003). Ageing and Health in the 21st Century – An Overview. WHO Kobe Centre: WHO.


Department for International Development, DFID. (2003). Bangladesh: Country Assistance Plan 2003–2006, Women and Girls First. UK: Department for International Development.


Donovan, J. & Sanders, C (2005). Key Issue in the analysis of qualitative data in health service research. In A. Bowling & S. Ebrahim, The Handbook of Health Research Methods: Investigation, Measurement and Analysis. Maidenhead: Open University Press.


Fry C. L. & Keith J. (1986). New Methods for Old-Age Research: Strategies for Studying Diversity. Massachusetts: Bergin & Garvey Publishers, Inc.


Gorman M. (2002). Global Ageing – the non-governmental organization role in the developing world. International Journal of Epidemiology 31: 782–785. [Read this article]


Gorman M. & Heslop A. (2002). Poverty, policy, reciprocity and older people in the South, Journal of International Development 14: 1143–1151. [Read this article]


Grbich C. (1999). Qualitative Research in Health – An Introduction. London: Sage.


Green J. & Thorogood N. (2004). Qualitative Methods for Health Research. London: Sage.


Gubrium J. F. & Sankar, A., eds. (1994). Qualitative Methods in Ageing Research. London: Sage.


HelpAge International (2000). Uncertainly Rules Over Lives: The Situation of Older People in Bangladesh. London: Help Age International.


HelpAge International (2002). Gender and Ageing Briefs. Http://www.helpage.org/images/pdfs/GenderPack.pdf (Accessed: June 20, 2005).


Howell N. (1986). Age estimates and their evaluation in research. In C. L. Fry & J. Keith (eds.), New Methods for Old Age Research, Strategies for Studying Diversity. Massachusetts: Bergin & Garvey Publishers, Inc.


Hutchinson S. A. (2001). The development of qualitative health research: Taking stock, Qualitative Health Research 11: 505–521. [Read this article]


Jones R. (1995). Why do qualitative research?, British Medical Journal 311(2).


Kabir Z. N., Tishelman C., Agüero-Torres H., Chowdhury A. M. R., Winblad B. & Höjer B. (2003). Gender and rural-urban differences in reported health status by older people in Bangladesh. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics. 37: 77–91. [Read this article]


Khe N. D., Toan N. V., Xuan L. T. T., Eriksson B., Höjer B. & Diwan V. K. (2002). Primiary health concept revisited: where do people seek health care in a rural area of Vietnam? Health Policy 61: 95–109. [Read this article]


Kinsella K. & Phillips D. R. (2005). Global aging: The challenge of success. Population Bulletin 60(1).


Miles M. B. & Huberman A. M. (1994). Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook, 2nd edn. London: Sage.


Pearson M. (1999). Bangladesh: health briefing paper, Overview of Bangladesh’s health care system. London: Department for International Development Health Systems Resource Centre (DFID HSRC).


Pope C. & Mays N. (1995). Qualitative research: Reaching the parts other methods cannot reach: an introduction to qualitative methods in health and health services research, British Medical Journal 311: 42–45.


Rahman M. O. (2000). The impact of co-resident spouses and sons on elderly mortality in rural Bangladesh. Journal of Biosocial Science 32: 89–98. [Read this article]


Rice P. L. & Ezzy D. (1999). Qualitative research methods: A health focus. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Sarkisian C. A., Hays R. D. & Mangione C. M. (2002). Do older adults expect to age successfully? The association between expectations regarding aging and beliefs regarding health-seeking behaviour. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 50(11): 1837–1843. [Read this article]


Schneider H. & Palmer N. (2002). Getting to the truth? Researching user views of primary health care, Health Policy and Planning 17: 32–41. [Read this article]


Shield R.R. & Aronson S. M. (2003). Ageing in Today’s World: Conversations Between an Anthropologist and a Physician. New York: Berghahn Books.


Sokolovsky J. & Vesperi M. D. (1991). The cultural context of well-being in old age, Generations 15: 21–24.


Solomons N. W. (2001). Health and Ageing. In R. Flores. & S. Gillepsie, (eds.), Health and Nutrition: Emerging and Remerging Issues in Developing Countries. Washington D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute.


Stevenson F. A., Britten N., Barry C.A., Bradley C.P. & Barber N. (2003). Self-treatment and its discussion on medical consultations: how is medical pluralism managed in practice? Social Science and Medicine 57: 513–527. [Read this article]


Stoller E. P. & Forster L. E. (1993). Patterns of illness behaviour among rural elderly: preliminary results of a health diary study. Journal of Rural Health 8: 13–26.


Stoller E. P., Forster, L. E. & Portugal, S. (1993). Self-care responses to symptoms by older people. A health diary study of illness behaviour. Medical Care 31: 24–42.


Tuan T., Dung, V. T .M., Neu, I. & Dibley, M. J. (2005). Comparative quality of private and public health services in rural Vietnam. Health Policy and Planning 20: 319–27. [Read this article]


United Nations Development Programme, UNDP (2003). Human Development Report 2003. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


United Nations (2005). Http://esa.un.org/unpp/p2k0data.asp (Accessed: June 01, 2005).


Vaughan J. P., Karim, E. & Buse, K. (2000). Health care systems in transition III. Bangladesh, Part l. An overview of the health care system in Bangladesh, Journal of Public Health 22: 5–9. [Read this article]


WHO (2005). The world health report 2004 – Changing history. http://www.who.int/whr/2004/annex/topic/en/annex_1_en.pdf (Accessed January 4, 2005).


World Bank (2002). Poverty in Bangladesh: Building on Progress. World Bank and Asian Development Bank. Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Sector Unit, South Asia Region: The World Bank (Report No. 24299-BD).