Caregiver Decision-Making: Household Response to Child Illness

Hayley Pierce, University of California, Berkeley
Ashley Larsen, Pennsylvania State University
Renata Forste, Brigham Young University

Drawing upon a framework outlining household recognition and response to child illness, we examine treatments sought for a recent child illness. Based on multinomial analyses of Demographic and Health Surveys from 27 countries, we find that the odds of seeking treatment are low for women needing to obtain permission for healthcare and conclude that not having a voice in healthcare decisions increase the odds that middle layer treatments (traditional healers, pharmacies, etc.) are sought relative to formal biomedical treatment. Past experience with medical services increase the odds that biomedical treatment for child illness is sought, as does knowledge or use of modern contraception. We conclude that women need both healthcare knowledge and the ability to make healthcare decisions in order to negotiate biomedical treatment, in addition to having resources to overcome access barriers such as cost and distance to a facility.

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Presented in Session 218: Health Behaviors and Health Care Utilization