Frequency and determinants of health care utilization for symptomatic reproductive tract infections in rural Indian women: A cross- sectional study
This paper published in PLOS One by Kinkor et al. (2019) explores healthcare practices of rural Indian women in Odisha with symptomatic reproductive tract infections (RTIs). Health care seeking behaviour for RTIs among rural Indian women is often poor, meaning the issue is often not properly addressed. There are also gaps in our knowledge around why health care seeking behaviour is low; and this is what this study aimed to determine. Using data from a cross-sectional, population-based surveillance survey among rural, non-pregnant women in Odisha, the researchers examined the degree to which different determinants are associated with a woman's likelihood to seek RTI treatment. They found that married women were significantly more likely to seek healthcare for RTI symptoms whilst unmarried adolescents were less likely to seek treatment. There was no association between RTI health care seeking with education level, belief about whether symptoms can be treated, or poverty. The majority (73.8%) of women who did not seek treatment for RTI symptoms reported not seeking treatment because they did not know treatment was needed. Better understanding of health care seeking behaviour for RTIs will aid the design of future interventions that promote RTI care seeking behaviour.