Impact of Geographical Proximity on Health Care Seeking Behaviour in Northern Oman

Ahmed Al-Mandhari, Samir Al-Adawi, Ibrahim Al-Zakwani, Mohammed Al-Shafaee, Liyam Eloul

Abstract


Objectives: Despite its impact on health policy, the relationship between geographical proximity and health care seeking has received scant attention in the medical literature. This paper aims to evaluate the relationship between geographic proximity and health care usage behaviour among patients seeking medical consultation in the northern region of Oman. Methods: During 2006- 2007, data was collected via face-to-face interviews among 428 randomized patients seeking medical consultation in various primary health care centres in the northern region of Oman. The association between geographical proximity as a reason to seek health care and other predictors was also analysed using multivariable logistic regression. Results:The data suggest that preference for geographical proximity as a reason for seeking health care is strongly associated with marital status, previous exposure to traditional medicine and health education, as well as history of immunisation. Conclusion: This finding supports the view from elsewhere that geographical proximity remains a strong catalyst for care seeking in Oman. The psychosocial factors affecting care seeking are discussed.



Keywords


Geographic proximity; Health care utilization; Arab/Islamic; Clinical-based study; Oman.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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