Central Data Catalog


Type Journal Article - Journal of global health
Title Determinants and patterns of care-seeking for childhood illness in rural Pune District, India
Volume 10
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2020
URL https://doi.org/10.7189/jogh.10.010601
An estimated 1.2 million children under five years of age die each year in India, with pneumonia and diarrhea among the leading causes. Increasing care-seeking is important to reduce mortality and morbidity from these causes. This paper explores the determinants and patterns of care-seeking for childhood illness in rural Pune district, India.

Mothers having at least one child <5 years from the study area of the Vadu Health and Demographic Surveillance System were enrolled in a prospective cohort study. Household sociodemographic information was collected through a baseline questionnaire administered at enrollment. Participants were visited up to six times between July 2015 and February 2016 to collect information on recent childhood acute illness and associated care-seeking behavior. Multivariate logistic regression explored the associations between care-seeking and child, participant, and household characteristics.

We enrolled 743 mothers with 1066 eligible children, completing 2585 follow-up interviews (90% completion). Overall acute illness prevalence in children was 26% with care sought from a health facility during 71% of episodes. Multivariable logistic regression showed care-seeking was associated with the number of reported symptoms (Odds ratio (OR) = 2.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.5-3.9) and household insurance coverage (OR = 2.2, 95% CI = 1.1-4.3). We observed an interaction between the associations of illness severity and maternal employment on care-seeking. Somewhat-to-very severe illness was associated with increased care-seeking among both employed (OR = 5.0, 95% CI = 2.2-11.1) and currently unemployed mothers (OR = 7.0, 95% CI = 3.9-12.6). Maternal employment was associated with reduced care-seeking for non-severe illness (OR = 0.3, 95% CI = 0.1-0.7), but not associated with care-seeking for somewhat-to-very severe illness. Child sex was not associated with care-seeking.

This study demonstrates the importance of illness characteristics in determining facility-based care-seeking while also suggesting that maternal employment resulted in decreased care-seeking among non-severe illness episodes. The nature of the association between maternal employment and care-seeking is unclear and should be explored through additional studies. Similarly, the absence of male bias in care-seeking should be examined to assess for potential bias at other stages in the management of childhood illness.
Andrew Marsh, Siddhivinayak Hirve, Pallavi Lele, Uddhavi Chavan, Tathagata Bhattacharjee, Harish Nair, Sanjay Juvekar, and Harry Campbell. "Determinants and patterns of care-seeking for childhood illness in rural Pune District, India." Journal of global health 10, no. 1 (2020).
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