Students’ Health Seeking Behaviour and its Rationale at Uganda Christian University

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.06.03.Art019

Authors : Edward Kibikyo Mukooza, Deirdre Carabine, Ekiria Kikule


Uganda Christian University’s records of 2013-2014 show that approximately 30% of the 3,300 students in the Easter Semester did not register for and therefore could not use the University’s health services.

This study analysed Uganda Christian University students’ health seeking behaviour in order to identify their preferred health care services and rationale for their choice, and the barriers to the University’s health system.

A cross-sectional and mixed design was applied. Data was collected with a questionnaire administered to a sample of 424 Uganda Christian University students in April 2015. Quantitative data was analysed with SPSS 16. Qualitative data was analysed by content analysis.

Most students came from urban (51%) or peri-urban (23.4%) homes and had parents or guardians with post-secondary school education (80%). Most of the students used the university’s Allan Galpin Health Centre (78%) when in need of health care but given choice, they would prefer other health facilities, especially those nearest. The most frequent reason for choice was convenience. The females perceived their state of health differently from the males (p-value 0.03) and they had more unmet health needs. Barriers include unavailability of needed services, long queues, poor customer care, lack of trust in the service, waiting to see if the health problem would resolve and lack of relevant information.

The findings are similar to those from studies done in similar contexts. Key influencers of health seeking behaviour were convenience and gender. Unavailability of needed services and customer care issues were barriers to the University health services.

Keywords: Health Seeking Behaviour, Barriers, Rationale, Uganda Christian University.


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