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Health Care Seeking Behaviour of Elderly People in Rural Part of Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Tesfaye Falaha, Alemayehu Worku, Mengistu Meskele and Wolde Facha

Background: Due to aging phenomenon elderly people are at higher risk for disease and disability. Understanding health care seeking behaviour and determinant factors was crucial to provide comprehensive health care for elderly people.

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess health care seeking behaviour and its determinants among elderly people in rural part of Wolaita zone, southern Ethiopia.

Method: A community based cross-sectional study design was conducted in January, 2015. Total of 795 were participated in our study, making the response rate of 97.03%. Multistage sampling technique was used. Bivariate and multivariate analysis was done to assess factors associated with health care seeking behaviour of elderly people. Odds ratio with 95% CI were used to declare statistically significance association between independent variables and the outcome variable.

Results: Elderly people health care seeking behaviour in rural part of Wolaita zone was about 460 (57.9%). In our study those elderly people in the age group of 60 - 65 [AOR = 1.51, (95% CI = 1.06, 2.14)], who attended formal education [AOR = 2.28, (95% CI = 1.45,3.61)], who knew when to visit health facility [AOR = 1.95, (95% CI = 1.43, 2.67)], who had family support during illness [AOR = 3.06, (95% CI = 2.25, 4.15)] and who lived nearer to primary health care unit [AOR = 1.58, (95% CI = 1.11, 2.25)] had more likely health care seeking behaviour than their counter parts.

Conclusion: Health care seeking behaviours among elderly people in rural part of Wolaita zone was unsatisfactory. Thus special attention and support should be given for elderly people from government and different stake holders to overcome identified barriers to health care seeking behaviour of elderly people.