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Cultural Construction of Health Seeking Behavior: A Multifaceted Study of Chronic Male Patients living in a Rural Community
The primary objective of the research is to explore the patterns of health-seeking behavior and how the rural male community chooses the preferred health system. The study also considers how health-seeking behavior is defined and shaped through the interaction of socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of research participants. It also describes the dynamics of access to formal and informal healthcare systems and the reasons for choosing alternative health-seeking methods. Considering the multifaceted and arbitrary nature of the phenomenon under study, the researcher applied a thick description through an interpretivist approach. Data collection through in-depth interviews was conducted with potential participants identified through purposive sampling. Eligible participants were rural males aged 30 years and above. Data was collected and analyzed iteratively while maintaining the ethics of anonymity and confidentiality. Data was thematically analyzed, and themes were identified through extensive data analysis. The findings revealed that most men consult healthcare providers only for acute illnesses or diseases involving severe pain and explicit symptoms. The financial cost of treatment, belief in the efficiency of a health system, accessibility, and previous experiences were identified as the most prominent themes shaping health-seeking behavior.
Keywords: Health-seeking Behavior, Healthcare Utilization, Males, Formal/Informal Healthcare System, Rural Communities