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[e-drug] Drug use and health-seeking behavior for childhood illness in Vietnam

E-DRUG: Drug use and health-seeking behavior for childhood illness in
Vietnam
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Nguyen Quynh Hoa a), c), Ann Öhman b), Cecilia Stålsby Lundborg c) and
Nguyen Thi Kim Chuc d). Drug use and health-seeking behavior for
childhood illness in Vietnam?A qualitative study. Health Policy; 82(3): 320-329 
(August 2007)
Available online 21 November 2006. doi:10.1016/j.healthpol.2006.10.005

Abstract

Objectives
To describe and understand health-seeking behavior and drug use among
caregivers, in particular antibiotics, for childhood illnesses in
Vietnam.

Methods
A total of six focus group discussions were conducted with child care
providers. A thematised interview guide was used and qualitative content
analysis was applied. Meaning units in the texts dealing with the same
content material were identified, condensed and compared until several
emerging themes were found. Finally, similarities and differences in the
views between rural and urban groups were described.

Results
Self-treatment and self-medication were prominent in the urban groups,
whereas compliance and trust in doctors were more common among the rural
participants. Misuse and misconceptions regarding the properties of
drugs were reported leading to worries about irrational drug use in the
community. Despite the widespread use of private services in both areas,
the public health service was reported to be the most trusted recourse
for serious cases.

Conclusions
Qualitatively different ways of using drug and health care services are
reported for childhood sickness in rural and urban Vietnam. These
results provide rich information for the development of quantitative
studies on drug use for children and point to the need to involve all
health facilities in consideration.

Keywords: Drug use; Health seeking behavior; Quality of health system;
Focus group discussion; Qualitative content analysis; Vietnam

a: Pharmaceutical department, Vietnam Cuba Friendship Hospital, 37 Hai
Ba Trung str., Hanoi, Vietnam b: Division of Epidemiology and Public
Health Sciences, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Umeå
University, Sweden c: Division of International Health (IHCAR),
Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm,
Sweden d: Public Health Faculty, Hanoi Medical University, Vietnam

Corresponding author: Divison of International Health, IHCAR, Department
of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, SE 171 77 Stockholm,
Sweden.
Tel.: +46 8524 83366; fax: +46 831 1590.


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