Health-seeking behaviour for child illness in Guatemala

Noreen Goldman, Patrick Heuveline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Relying on data from the 1995 Guatemalan Survey of Family Health (EGSF), we analyse the relationship between child illness and health-seeking behaviour. Information on illness was collected for 3193 children. This analysis is based on 870 of these who became ill with diarrhoeal or respiratory disease during a 13-day period prior to interview. Estimates are derived from logistic models of the probability of seeing ally or a specific type of health care provider as a function of characteristics of the illness on a given day and the child. The results indicate that modern medical care plays a major role in the treatment of infectious illness among children in rural Guatemala, with visits to pharmacists, doctors and the staff at government health facilities occurring much more frequently than visits to curers and other traditional practitioners. In general, families are much more likely to seek out a health care provider when a child experiences fever and gastrointestinal symptoms than when suffering from respiratory and other symptoms, and when a mother perceives the illness to be serious. The results also indicate that infants, low parity children, and children assessed as having generally been in good health are more likely to visit health care providers than other children. However, the particular associations often vary by type of health care provider.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-155
Number of pages11
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology


  • ARI
  • Diarrhoea
  • Guatemala
  • Health care behaviour


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