Access and Use of Information by Primary Health Care Providers in Rural Uganda: A Qualitative Approach

Access and Use of Information by Primary Health Care Providers in Rural Uganda: A Qualitative Approach

Maria G. N. Musoke (Makerere University, Uganda)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1746-9.ch006
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Abstract

This article summarises findings from a qualitative study conducted in rural Uganda, East Africa. The main aim of the study was to investigate the accessibility and use of health information in the lower echelons of Primary Health Care (PHC). Women, as PHC providers in an African family, were the focus as well as health workers. An interview schedule that consisted of open questions and one relating to health information critical incidents were used. A holistic inductive paradigm was adopted with a grounded theory analysis. The findings highlight a model of information behaviour that was driven by the value and impact of information unlike previous information models, which have been driven by information needs. The value and effect of information on PHC was as experienced and reported by the interviewees. Implications of the study and areas for further research are highlighted.
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Methodology

Given the nature of the study, a holistic inductive paradigm was used with a grounded theory analysis. Although the study took a grounded theory approach, it differed from the grounded theory as originally defined by Glaser & Strauss5 in that it did not adopt a theoretical sampling strategy. The sample was determined by the PHC set up6, and followed a purposeful sampling strategy as described by Patton (1990). The study, therefore, focussed on two categories of people who form the base of PHC service delivery, namely the women and health workers. The total sample was eighty-two (48 women leaders and 34 health workers).

Face-to-face interviews were conducted using an interview schedule that consisted of open questions and one relating to health information critical incidents. Two sets were used: one for the women and the other for health workers. As a semi-structured (open-ended) interview method was used to collect data, it was preferred to do a cross-case analysis for each question in the interview schedule. This involved grouping together and comparing answers from different interviewees to common questions. The analyst then abstracted from the data and generated concepts and categories inductively. This was preceded by open and selective coding, based on the original Glaser and Strauss (1967) approach.

Some interviewee responses are given in the findings. These are based on verbatim records (translated from vernacular to English in the case of women), and are quoted in italics. For confidentiality reasons, each quotation indicates the interviewee number rather than the name.

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