THE NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
ISSN: 0331-4111 e-ISSN: 2736-075X
Volume 18, No. 1, June 2020
Determinants of Health Care Utilization among Retirees in Rural Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
Dorothy N. Ononokpono1, Moses I. Peters1 and Nsidibe Akpan Usoro1
1Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Uyo, Nigeria
The rising population of the elderlyis one of the most important demographic phenomena in recent times globally. In Nigeria, the estimated population of older persons is about 6 million, and this group of people are confronted with various health challenges and a reduction in earnings, which exacerbates their poor health and healthcare utilization. Studies have shown that healthcare is a fundamental requirement for living a socially and economically productive life; however, in many developing countries including Nigeria, healthcare services utilization among older persons and particularly retirees has received less attention. The main objective of this study was to examine the determinants of healthcare services use among retired primary school teachers in Etinan Local Government in Akwa Ibom State. We utilized Andersen’s healthcare model to explain the factors associated with retirees’ healthcare utilization.Data were collected throughnon-participant observation and semi-structured interviews, conducted with 217 respondents.Data on socio-demographic characteristics of respondents were analyzed using descriptive statistics, while qualitative narratives were analyzed thematically and presented verbatim. Findings from the study revealed that the majority of respondents attributed difficulties in the utilization of health care services to inadequate health facilities, lack of trained healthcare personnel, high cost of health services, distance to health facilities, and late payment of pension, among other factors. Study findings suggest the need for the provision of quality healthcare infrastructure for the retired adults and timely payment of pensions as a panacea for poor healthcare accessibility and utilization.
Keywords: Healthcare service utilization, retirees, interview, rural Akwa Ibom