Factors Contributing to Delayed Health Seeking Behaviours Among Adolescents

  •  Ripfumelo F. Mboweni    
  •  Gsakani O. Sumbane    


BACKGROUND: Most adolescents for various reasons fail to go and seek for health care regarding health risks and challenges until they are faced with the complications. The socio-cultural belief concerning the causes of illnesses and its characteristic has correlation with the treatment seeking behaviour of an individual.

OBJECTIVES: The study explored and described factors contributing to delayed health-seeking behaviours amongst adolescents in Kutlwanong clinic, North West Province.

METHOD: This was a qualitative study designed using a phenomenological approach. Individual semi-structured in-depth interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. 8 Steps of Tesch’s inductive, descriptive open coding technique by Creswell was used followed by independent coding. Purposive sampling recruited fourteen participants aged 15–18 years. Trustworthiness criteria adhered to were credibility, dependability, transferability, and confirmability. Ethical clearance was sought with the University of Limpopo.

RESULTS: Factors that negatively impact adolescents’ health-seeking behavior include the negative attitude of nurses and community, influenced by peers, shortage of medicine, lack of services throughout weekends, long queues, waiting times, distance, and lack of knowledge. Family planning and antenatal care were the common reason for seeking health care.

CONCLUSION: Being aware of factors contributing to delay health-seeking behaviours will facilitate with setting future priorities to guard the health, well-being, and dignity of adolescents. The impacts of youth programs must be monitored on a regular basis to assess the needs and capabilities of specific facilities. Clinic manager to ensure compliance with the national core standards to meet adolescent’s immediate expectations.

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