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Socio-demographic determinants of health-seeking behaviour among the South African population : an analysis of NIDS.

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The persistent socio-economic and demographic inequalities that exist in the South African population have influenced the health-seeking behaviour of various groups, thereby resulting in health outcomes that can be described as being highly inequitable. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of socio-economic and demographic determinants on the health-seeking behaviour of the South African population in an attempt to add to the limited literature on the topic. A quantitative secondary analysis was conducted using the data from the National Income Dynamics Study Wave 4. Multivariate binomial logistic regressions were used to examine the socio-economic and demographic determinants of health-seeking behaviour. Some of the main findings were that women, the elderly and adults who were affiliated with quintile 5 had the highest odds of ever having visited a healthcare facility in the past year; whilst adults who had completed secondary education or resided on farms had the lowest odds. In relation to the type of healthcare facility last visited, adults who had a post-matric qualification belonged to wealth quintile 5 or who were married had the highest odds of going to a private healthcare facility. In contrast, adults who were unemployed who resided in traditional areas and women had the lowest odds of going to a private healthcare facility. The interaction effects investigated highlighted that in post-apartheid South Africa, gender and racial inequalities moderate the influence of selected socio-economic and demographic characteristics on the health-seeking behaviour of the population. Therefore, the present study concludes that both socio-economic and demographic determinants have a significant overall effect on the health-seeking behaviour of the South African population and suggests that future efforts to reduce health inequities should target the structural mechanisms of the social determinants of health.


Master of Art in Population Studies. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2016.


Theses - Population Studies.