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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 2714-2719

Assessing health-seeking behavior among Asthma and COPD patients in urban South India

1 Health Action by People and SP Fort Hospital, Trivandrum, India
2 Health Action by People and Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Medical College, Trivandrum, India
3 Health Action by People, Trivandrum, India
4 Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Medical College, Trivandrum, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sanjeev Nair
Official: TC 1/1706, ‘CHEMMANAM’, Opp 3rd Men's Hostel, Navarangom Lane, Murinjapalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala - 695 011
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_485_19

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Context: Health-seeking behavior of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma and the diagnosis told to them by doctors before they reach tertiary care is not well documented. Aims: This study aimed at describing the health-seeking behavior of asthma and COPD patients before they present to a tertiary care hospital in Trivandrum in South India. Methods and Materials: The hospital-based cross-sectional study was done at one government and one private tertiary care hospital in Trivandrum, Kerala, including diagnosed COPD and asthma patients. Data were collected using a pretested semistructured questionnaire paired with the results of clinical evaluation and spirometry. Results: Among the studied population, about half (53%) of the patients in this study sought initial treatment from government facilities and most patients continued the same pattern of government care or private providers till the final level. Most of them (91%) were likely to have a history of first care from modern medicine system. High proportion of patients (89%) did not have a diagnosis known after the initial consultations, among patients with asthma only 3.4% were given a correct diagnosis and only one person was given a correct diagnosis of COPD out of 129 patients with COPD as the final diagnosis. Out of 739 patients, only 135 patients had done pulmonary functtion test as investigation. Conclusions: High proportions of patients do not know the diagnosis of their disease when they reached tertiary care. Patients tended to follow the same sector of health care (private/government) where they sought initial care.

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