Help-seeking behavior among women currently leaking urine in Nigeria: is it any different from the rest of the world?
Babatunde O Adedokun,1 Imran O Morhason-Bello,2 Oladosu A Ojengbede,2 Ngozi S Okonkwo,1 Charles Kolade2
1Department of Epidemiology, Medical Statistics, and Environmental Health, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, College of Medicine/University College Hospital, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo state, Nigeria
Objective: We examined help-seeking behaviors and factors influencing their choice of hospital care in women currently leaking urine.
Materials and methods: This study was part of a multistage community survey conducted among 5001 women in Nigeria who participated in the Ibadan Urinary Incontinence Household Survey. Help-seeking behavior was analyzed among 139 respondents currently leaking urine within the population surveyed.
Results: The mean age of those currently leaking urine was 35.7 years (standard deviation = 15.8). Only 18 (12.9%) had ever sought help, of which 15 had received hospital care. Logistic regression analysis showed that the odds of seeking hospital care was higher among less educated women (odds ratio [OR] = 4.05, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.17–13.89) and among those with severe incontinence (OR = 4.20, 95% CI: 1.24–14.29). Reasons mentioned for not seeking hospital care include a belief that the condition is not life-threatening (51.2%), do not believe there is treatment (18.2%), lack of funds (1.7%), too shy to disclose (2.5%), afraid of complications (1.7%), other (2.5%), and no reason (22.3%).
Conclusion: This study shows that very few women, currently experiencing urinary incontinence have sought medical care (approximately 1 in 10); and that the barriers identified are similar to those identified in previous studies, except that these women lack the necessary funds to seek care.
Keywords: urinary incontinence, help (health)-seeking behavior, women, Nigeria
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