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      Illness-related behaviour and utilization of oral health services among adult city-dwellers in Burkina Faso: evidence from a household survey


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          In sub-Saharan Africa, the availability and accessibility of oral health services are seriously constrained and the provision of essential oral care is limited. Reports from the region show a very low utilization of oral health care services, and visits to dental-care facilities are mostly undertaken for symptomatic reasons. The objectives of the present study were to describe the prevalence of oral symptoms among adults in Ouagadougou, capital city of Burkina Faso and the use of oral health services and self-medication in response to these symptoms and to measure the associations between predisposing, enabling and needs factors and decisions to seek oral health care.


          The conceptual design of the study was derived from both the Andersen-Newman model of health care utilization and the conceptual framework of the WHO International Collaborative Study of Oral Health Outcomes. Data were obtained by two-stage stratified sampling through four areas representative of different stages of urbanization of Ouagadougou. The final study population comprised 3030 adults aged 15 years or over and the response rate was 65%.


          Overall, 28% of the respondents had experienced an oral health problem during the past 12 months; a high proportion (62%) reported pain or acute discomfort affecting daily life. In response to symptoms, only 28% used oral health facilities, 48% used self-medication and 24% sought no treatment at all. Multivariate analyses revealed that several socio-economic and socio-cultural factors such as religious affiliation, material living conditions and participation in a social network were significantly associated with the use of oral health care services by adults who had experienced oral health problems during the previous year.


          The proportion of people who have obtained oral health care is alarmingly low in Ouagadougou and self-medication appears to be an important alternative source of care for adult city-dwellers. Decision-makers in sub-Saharan countries must seek to ensure that access to essential oral health care is improved.

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          Most cited references35

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          Health seeking behaviour and health service utilization in Pakistan: challenging the policy makers.

          There is a growing literature on health seeking behaviours and the determinants of health services utilization especially in the context of developing countries. However, very few focused studies have been seen in Pakistan in this regard. This paper presents an extensive literature review of the situation in developing countries and relates the similar factors responsible for shaping up of a health seeking behaviour and health service utilization in Pakistan. The factors determining the health behaviours may be seen in various contexts: physical, socio-economic, cultural and political. Therefore, the utilization of a health care system, public or private, formal or non-formal, may depend on socio-demographic factors, social structures, level of education, cultural beliefs and practices, gender discrimination, status of women, economic and political systems environmental conditions, and the disease pattern and health care system itself. Policy makers need to understand the drivers of health seeking behaviour of the population in an increasingly pluralistic health care system. Also a more concerted effort is required for designing behavioural health promotion campaigns through inter-sectoral collaboration focusing more on disadvantaged segments of the population.
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            Societal and individual determinants of medical care utilization in the United States.

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              Anthropological and socio-medical health care research in developing countries.


                Author and article information

                BMC Health Serv Res
                BMC Health Services Research
                BioMed Central (London )
                27 December 2006
                : 6
                : 164
                [1 ]UR178, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, 01 BP 182 Ouagadougou 01, Burkina Faso
                [2 ]World Health Organization Global Oral Health Programme, Department of Chronic Disease and Health Promotion, World Health Organization, 20, Avenue Appia, CH-1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland
                [3 ]UMR145, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, 01 BP 171 Bobo Dioulasso 01, Burkina Faso
                [4 ]Centre Muraz, Ministry of Health of Burkina Faso, 01 BP 390 Bobo-Dioulasso 01, Burkina Faso
                [5 ]Université Paris X Nanterre, Laboratoire Espace, Santé et Territoire, 200 Avenue de la République, 92001 Nanterre Cedex, France
                Copyright © 2006 Varenne et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 26 June 2006
                : 27 December 2006
                Research Article

                Health & Social care
                Health & Social care


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