Family support for women's health-seeking behavior: a qualitative study in rural southern Egypt (Upper Egypt)

Nagoya J Med Sci. 2014 Feb;76(1-2):17-25.


This qualitative study investigated the influence of family support on women's health-seeking behavior in rural southern Egypt (Upper Egypt). We carried out separate focus group discussions (FGDs) with 3 groups (6 women with children under 5 years old, 6 men, and 4 elderly women, respectively) in a village in Assiut Governorate, an underprivileged region in Upper Egypt. The FGDs aimed to identify how different types of family support affected women's health-seeking behavior in areas including maternal health and common illnesses of women and children. Our results showed that maternal health issues were often discussed by husbands and wives, while mothers-in-law had little apparent influence. We also found that women could access support resources more easily than expected through their extended families. Our study showed that husbands had an important role in encouraging women's health in the family, while the effect of mothers-in-law on women's health-seeking behavior was not substantial. The study indicated that women received considerable support from co-resident family members, their natal family, and their neighbors, which helped women in seeking health services.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child, Preschool
  • Egypt
  • Family Relations*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Rural Health Services*
  • Social Support*
  • Spouses / psychology*
  • Women's Health Services*