Treatment seeking behavior and associated factors of suspected dengue fever among Shan people in eastern Shan special region IV, Myanmar: A cross-sectional study

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Abstract

Background: Dengue fever (DF) is a rapidly spreading mosquito-borne disease along the China-Myanmar border. Understanding treatment-seeking behaviors (TSBs) and associated factors of suspected DF patients in local communities helps to improve health services via promoting prompt treatment, improving patients' prognosis, finding DF information and timely response to DF foci. Methods: A combination of qualitative semi-structured in-depth interview (SDIs) included 18 key-informants, and quantitative household questionnaire survey (HHSs) involved 259 households was carried out to investigate TSBs and associated factors of suspected DF patients in the Eastern Shan Special Region IV (ESSR4), Myanmar. Results: The key informants mentioned that most of their fellow villagers did not seek treatment in public health facilities first. The HHS questionnaires were distributed to household heads, and 241 of the 259 HHS respondents were valid after data auditing. Only 102 (43.2%) household heads reported that their family sought treatment for suspected DF at a public health facility immediately; 111 (46.1%) respondents said that they chose self-medication first. The adjusted odds ratio of multivariate logistic analysis (MLA) predicting household heads' first seeking healthcare at a public hospital were 1.91 (95%CI: 1.03-3.53) for those who knew DF and 5.11 (95%CI: 2.08-12.58) for those who regarded DF as a deadly disease, indicating that families who knew DF and regarded DF as a deadly disease were more likely to seek treatment for suspected DF at a public health facility immediately. Conclusion: The inappropriateness of treatment-seeking behaviors for suspected DF hinders the improvement of the patient prognosis and dengue control in ESSR4, Myanmar. People's awareness of the potential seriousness of DF is a factor influencing appropriate healthcare-seeking behavior among Shan People.

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Liu, H., Xu, J. W., Ai, Z., Yu, Y., & Yu, B. (2020). Treatment seeking behavior and associated factors of suspected dengue fever among Shan people in eastern Shan special region IV, Myanmar: A cross-sectional study. BMC Health Services Research, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-020-05163-z

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