Health care seeking among women with cervical cancer in Uganda: A case study at Mulago Hospital
Wadembere, Jangu Ibrahim
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Background: Majority of the women with cervical cancer delay to seek health care and the determinants are not well not. Objective: This study sought to investigate potential determinants of patient delay among Ugandan women with cervical cancer. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from March 2017 to May 2017 at the Mulago National Referral Hospital in the capital city of Uganda. The data was collected using questionnaire among patients with cervical cancer (stages I–IV). An interval longer than 90 days between self-discovery of a potential symptoms and presentation to a qualified health worker was defined as a patient delay. Results: One hundred and thirty-six patients with cervical cancer enrolled in this study and 36.8% had patient delay. The median and mode age group was 35-46 years, 76.5% had not exceeded secondary level of education. The findings showed that 71.4% were diagnosed with stages II-IV and among them 32.7% were found having patient delay. The regression analysis showed that women over 55 years (p=0.041), fear of being diagnosed with cancer (p=0.039), borrowing money to pay medical bills (p=0.02), long distance (p=0.046), and poor quality of health service (p = 0.001) were significantly associated with patient delay. Conclusion: The study shows that source of funds to pay medical bills is the only socio-economic factor is associated with patient delay while the fear of being diagnosed with cervical cancer is the only individual factor associated with patient delay. The distance to the first choice of provider and quality of health services are the health system factors associated with delay in seeking health care among women with cervical cancer in Uganda.