|ILLNESS PERCEPTION AND MEDICAL RELIEF IN RURAL COMMUNITIES
|Radha Narayan, Susy Thomas, N Srikantaramu & K
Srikantan: Indian J TB 1982, 29, 98-103.
Illness is mostly a subjective awareness of an
individual, the relief of which may be sought within or outside
medical or health facilities. Perception of illness vary from people
to people depending upon cultural, ethnic and socio-economic differences.
Perception of symptoms by persons suffering from tuberculosis is
very high yet only half of them approach modern medical facility
for alleviation of their suffering. A survey was carried out in
rural area of Hoskote taluk, Bangalore district to determine perceived
morbidity and accessible medical relief in 1433 households belonging
to 18 villages; of them, 1393 (97%) were successfully interviewed.
Selected households belonged to three types of villages i.e., those
being within 3 kms of a i)PHC, ii)taluk headquarters hospital and
non- Governmental health centre.
Of the 9286 individual belonging to 1393 households
satisfactorily interviewed regarding health, 1201 (12.9%) were found
to be ill at some point of time during the reference period of one
month. No differences were observed in the perception of morbidity
or in the health seeking behaviour in the three groups of villages.
Persons with symptoms/disease accounted for 88.8% of the total sickness,
3.4% for injuries and 9.3% for disabilities, while action taking
was 61.6%, 90% and 13.5% respectively. Age sex distribution showed
no difference in illness occurrence. Sputum was collected from 147
chest symptomatics and seven were found to be sputum positive. Government
health facilities were utilized by 37.6% of the sick persons, private
doctors by 36.4%, nature medicine by 10.6% and home remedies by
only 9.9%. In conclusion, the services at the government health
facilities were acceptable and were utilized if accessible. Prompt
and adequate relief for injuries and acute indispositions ensures
confidence of the people and better utilization.
|KEY WORDS: ILLNESS PERCEPTION, RURAL COMMUNITY,
MEDICAL RELIEF, HEALTHSERVICES, UTILIZATION.