Socio-Economic Determinants of Healthcare Service Utilization among Rural Dwellers in Akpabuyo Lga, of Cross River State, Nigeria

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Socio-economic determinants of healthcare services utilization were investigated in Akpabuyo Local Government Area using structured questionnaires, administered to adults in the study area. The general objective of this study was to determine the reason behind underutilization of orthodox health services in the area with particular attention to the socio-economic factors; specific objectives were to ascertain the influence of income level and the relationship between proximity of health facilities and utilization. The research design adopted for this study was the cross-sectional survey design; a sample size of 400 was drawn from adults, selected from each household and the Multi-stage sampling technique was utilized for the process of data collection, which consisted of the systematic random and the purposive sampling techniques. One way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the Pearson product moment correlation (PPMC) were used in the analysis of data generated, for the purpose of arriving at a conclusion and policy recommendation. The findings from this research revealed that income level at all three categories; low, middle and high had significant influence on the utilization of healthcare services, and the proximity of healthcare facilities concerning their distance and location also had a significant relationship on their utilization. Conclusively, it was recommended that there should be equitable distribution of functional health facilities within the wards to reduce distance and travel time, as well as an improvement on household income of rural dwellers in Akpabuyo through numerous private and government interventions as well as improved commercial activities.

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