Planning for health care services provision depends on the morbidity profile, health-seeking behavior (HSB), and its predictors. Thus, this study aimed to identify the level of self-reported morbidity, HSB and its predictors.
A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among the geriatric (≥60 years) population in West Shoa Zone. A multi-stage systematic sampling technique was employed to select the study participants. After testing for collinearity, variables with p-value <0.25 on binary logistic regression were entered into backward multivariate logistic regression analysis with statistical significance at p-value <0.05.
With a response rate of 98%, 779 study participants were recruited. The median (IQR) age of the respondents was 70 (70-78) years. Five hundred eighty-four (3/4) of the study participants reported that they experienced morbidity at least once in the year before interview. Of 584 study participants, 53.9% had poor HSB. Living in village (p-value = 0.034), being housewife (p-value = 0.048), wealth index [being rich (p-value = 0.033), being in moderate economic status (p-value= 0.001), and being poor (p-value= 0.049) relative to richest], being head of polygamous household (p-value= 0.019), non-smoker (P-value = 0.012), not having community-based health insurance coverage (CBHI) (p-value< 0.0001), having ≤3 times number of illness (p-value <0.0001), self-medication (p-value < 0.0001), not having hypertension (p-value=0.016), not having diabetes mellitus (DM) (p-value=0.012), and not having oro-dental problem (p-value= 0.043) were positively associated with poor HSB. Nevertheless, self-perceived mild severity of illness (p-value= <0.0001), good health status (p-value= 0.001), and not having musculoskeletal problem (p-value< 0.0001) were negatively associated with poor HSB.
There was a high prevalence of self-reported morbidity and poor HSB. There should be an effort to improve the HSB and CBHI utilization of the geriatric population by all stakeholders. Moreover, modifiable predictors of HSB needs to be improved.

© 2020 Feyisa et al.