Frequency and determinants of health care utilization for symptomatic reproductive tract infections in rural Indian women: A cross-sectional study

Autoři: Mitchell A. Kinkor aff001;  Bijaya K. Padhi aff002;  Pinaki Panigrahi aff004;  Kelly K. Baker aff005
Působiště autorů: Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, United States of America aff001;  Asian Institute of Public Health, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India aff002;  Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, India aff003;  University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America aff004;  College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, United States of America aff005
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article



The public health burden of reproductive tract infections (RTIs) among women in rural areas of low-income countries is poorly addressed because health care seeking for treatment of RTIs is inadequate. There are gaps in knowledge about whether low care seeking behavior stems from challenges in accessing health care versus women's recognition of and response to RTI-specific disease symptoms. We aim to identify determinants of care seeking behavior and analyze the difference in utilization of health care resources in response to symptoms of an RTI versus non-RTI disease symptoms in rural India. This will aid in the design of interventions that promote RTI care seeking behavior.


Our analysis uses data from a cross-sectional, population-based surveillance survey among rural, non-pregnant women in Odisha, India, from 2013–2014 (n = 3,600). We utilized bivariate logistic regression to determine the degree that certain determinants are associated with a woman’s likelihood to seek RTI treatment, and chi-Squared tests to assess for differences in health care resources used for non-RTI versus RTI symptoms.


Married women were significantly more likely to seek health care for RTI symptoms (Odds Ratio (OR) = 1.9, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.2–3.0) while unmarried adolescents were less likely to seek treatment (OR = 0.4, CI: 0.2–0.6). 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. Women utilized formal health care providers at a higher rate in response to RTI symptoms than in response to their most recent symptoms of any kind (p = 0.003).


Community-based reproductive health education interventions are needed to increase health care seeking behavior for RTIs in rural Indian women. Interventions should target unmarried women and focus on both sexual health education and access to care.

Klíčová slova:

Behavior – Behavioral and social aspects of health – Health care providers – Health care utilization – Health education and awareness – India – Sexually transmitted diseases – Surveys


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