Relatives’ Advice and Health Care-Seeking Behaviour in Oman

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


Objectives: It has been well established that pathways to care are considerably modified by local, social and psychological characteristics as well as the doctor-patient relationship. Scant attention has been paid to the role of family advice in care-seeking. In Omani society, traditional family values and a collective mindset are the norm rather than the exception. This paper examines how family advice affects the trajectory of care seeking. Methodology: During 2006-2007, data was collected through face-to-face interviews among a randomised sample of patients seeking medical consultation in various primary health care centres in the northern region of Oman. This study enrolled a total of 493 patients. The association between the advice of family members as a reason to seek health care and other predictors was analysed using multivariable logistic regression. Results: The data suggest that the advice of family members in care-seeking is strongly associated with gender, education, history of chronic illness, previous exposure to traditional medicine, and health education, as well as the history of immunisation. Conclusion: These findings suggest that the advice of family members remains a strong catalyst for care-seeking in Oman. The psychosocial factors affecting care-seeking leading to underutilisation of services or otherwise are discussed.


Care-seeking behavior; Relatives’ advice; Clinical population; Oman; Arab/Islamic.

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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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