Women's perception of self-worth and access to health care Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • OBJECTIVE: : Research has shown differences in health status and health care utilization related to culture, economic status, and health care development. This paper reports on a study comparing attitudes of women in three countries, at various stages of development, about their own health and self-worth and asks if these differences account for differences in health care utilization and inequities in health status. METHOD: : A questionnaire, administered to 100 women in each of Yemen, Uganda and Canada, explored women's perception of their own health and health care seeking behavior. RESULT: : Women's perception of themselves as worthy of care was positively related to utilization. The ability to make one's own health care decisions varied with her country's development level. Implementation strategies must consider women's decision-making capacity. CONCLUSION: : To achieve improved health status, policies and programs must commit to encouraging appropriate social and cultural changes, using a 'cross-sectoral approach', involving both gender and development issues.

publication date

  • July 2007