Father's roles and perspectives on healthcare seeking for children with pneumonia: Findings of a qualitative study in a rural community of the Philippines

Mari Sato, Hitoshi Oshitani, Raita Tamaki, Nobuko Oyamada, Kineko Sato, Alkaff Raihana Nadra, Jhoys Landicho, Portia P. Alday, Socorro Lupisan, Veronica L. Tallo

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives Pneumonia remains a primary cause of death for under-five children. It is possible to reduce the mortality impact from childhood pneumonia if caregivers recognise the danger signs of pneumonia and obtain appropriate healthcare. Among caregivers, research on fathers' healthcare-seeking behaviours and perceptions are limited, whereas research on mothers is available. This study aims to reveal fathers' roles and perspectives with respect to the selection of care and treatment for children with pneumonia in a remote island of the Philippines. Design A qualitative research was carried out using semistructured interviews. Setting and participants The interviews were conducted with 12 fathers whose children had pneumonia-like episodes in the 6 months prior to the interview. Data analysis was performed using the concept analysis method to identify codes which were merged into subcategories and categories. Finally, the themes were identified. Results Three themes were identified as part of fathers' roles, and two were identified as fathers' perspectives on various treatment options. Fathers took care of their sick children by not entrusting care only to mothers because they considered this as part of their role. Notably, fathers considered that arranging money for the child's treatment was a matter of prime importance. They selected a particular treatment based on their experiences and beliefs, including herbal medicine, home treatment, and visiting traditional healers and health facilities. Their decision was influenced by not only their perception of the severity of illness but also cultural beliefs on the cause of illness. Visiting health facilities, particularly during hospital admissions, causes significant financial burden for the family which was the main concern of fathers. Conclusion It is crucial to consider the cultural background and also imperative to address issues related to medical cost and the credibility of health facilities to improve fathers' healthcare-seeking behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere023857
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov 1


  • Child health
  • Health services research
  • Pneumonia
  • Qualitative study


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