Treatment seeking behaviour in sexually transmitted diseases

Indian J Public Health. Oct-Dec 1998;42(4):133-5.


The present study has been conducted to assess social and behavioural factors predisposing individuals suffering from sexually transmitted diseases to seek treatment and the role of the health provider in them. Out results showed that the demographic, socio-economic and behavioural characteristics of patients seeking treatment at alternative places and those attending the referral hospital in the first instance were comparable. Inhibition, time and distance were important considerations for selecting a health facility. Private clinics were the most preferred (72.4%) source of treatment. In 60.3% of cases written prescriptions were not given and advice regarding treatment of sexual partner was not there in any of the cases. 98.3% of the patients lacked awareness about their disease and 91.4% patients about the treatment they were receiving.

PIP: The prospective study was conducted on 100 patients attending the Dermatology and Venereal Diseases Department of Lok Nayak Hospital, New Delhi, to investigate the socioeconomic and behavioral factors that may influence treatment-seeking behavior for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). All the subjects were interviewed using a pretested, semistructured questionnaire. Results showed that socioeconomic factors affect the utilization of STD services in many individuals. Accessibility to health care services in terms of time and money were important determinants of treatment-seeking behavior of the patient. This present study clearly documents that the majority of patients (98%) were unaware of their diagnosis, treatment and the seriousness of their illnesses. Furthermore, the media failed to charge the treatment-seeking behavior of STD patients, though it was considered as an important source of public education on the various aspects of STD.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • India
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / psychology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / therapy
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires