Healthcare Problems and Healthcare Service Accessibility for Children with Craniofacial Anomalies: Caregivers’ Perceptions
Keywords:healthcare problems, health services accessibility, congenital craniofacial anomalies
Objective: To explore caregivers’ perceptions regarding healthcare and healthcare service accessibility problems faced by children with craniofacial anomalies Design: Descriptive research
Methodology: The primary participants, recruited using convenience sampling and inclusion/exclusion criteria, were 121 primary caregivers of children with non-cleft craniofacial anomalies treated at a super-tertiary hospital in Bangkok. Data from the primary participants were collected via three questionnaires, on personal information, child care problem perceptions, and access to health services. The secondary participants were 13 purposively sampled caregivers, who supplied additional data via focus group discussions. The data were collected between October 2018 and September 2019 and analysed using descriptive statistics and content analysis.
Results: More than four-fifths (80.20%) of the caregivers had a low degree of overall perception of children’s healthcare problems, whereas about three-fourths (75.20%) displayed a high degree of overall perception of children’s access to healthcare services. The qualitative data revealed three major aspects of child healthcare problems, namely, (1) caring difficulty, variety of problems, and frequent hospital visits; (2) mental problems and demand for social
understanding and acceptance; and (3) high care and travel expenses. Regarding access to child healthcare services, two issues were identified. First, information on the hospital’s and physician’s specialisation played an important part in decision-making. Second, the healthcare team’s perspective and network could affect the method of treatment.
Recommendations: Healthcare team members are advised to assist children with congenital craniofacial anomalies who are faced with severe and complex health problems to have better and quicker access to healthcare services through referrals to super-tertiary hospitals for appropriate treatment during the first year of life.
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