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Pattern of geriatric health problems and health care seeking behavior among rural people in Bangladesh

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Introduction: Bangladesh is currently undergoing a demographic transition and the proportion of the population who are elderly is rapidly increasing. As geriatrics health problems are making a greater demand on the health services of the community, universal health coverage can’t be achieved if we leave older people behind.
Objectives: To assess the socio-demographic status, identification of the health-related determinants and health problems, and treatment-seeking behavior among the elderly rural people.
Materials and methods: This cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted from November 2018 to January 2019 at Baliyati, Mohishashi, and Dhalkunda villages in Saturia Upazilla of Manikganj District. People aged ≥ 60 years were selected by purposive sampling and data were collected from 427 elderly people. Data were collected by interview using an interviewer-administered semi- structured questionnaire. Blood pressure was measured by a sphygmomanometer. Results: 49.99 % of the respondents were aged between 60 to 65 years and 18.03% were above 75 years.59.71% of respondents was illiterate, and 18.96% have completed their primary level education. 34.66% of respondents were self-employed and 30.67% were involved in householdwork38.4% had no monthly income. Their monthly family income ranged from 5,000 to 10,000 taka. 57.61% of the respondents lived in a joint family. Most of the respondents (79.85%) are married and of them (49.69%) have 3-4 living children. The majority of the respondents (93.91%) drink from tube well water and 81.49% of respondents use sanitary latrine.42.68% of respondents have an addiction to betel leaf. Among the chronic diseases, 57.38% of respondents suffered from joint pain, 57.14% from visual disturbance, 37.94% from general weakness, 16.16 % from insomnia, and 14.52% from hypertension. The majority of the respondents (78.68%) took measures for their health problems. Due to the high cost of treatment, about 41.75% of respondents did not take any measures when they become sick. Most of the respondents (55.65%) who took treatment preferred to go to a government hospital.
Conclusion: Higher medical costs, ignorance about available medical facility in nearby medical units are the main challenges of elderly people in Bangladesh. Most diseases are preventable by creating awareness through mass media.


geriatrics, health problems, health care seeking behavior