EXPLORING THE INFORMATION BEHAVIOUR OF YOUNG FEMALES SUFFERING FROM PRIMARY DYSMENORRHEA IN GIWA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF KADUNA STATE
The studyexplored the information behaviour of adolescent females suffering from dysmenorrhea; the objectives of the study were achieved by formulation of and answering five (5) research questions. Some of the research questions sought to ascertain what are the information needs of adolescent females suffering from dysmenorrhea in Giwa Local Government, what information sources do adolescent females suffering from dysmenorrhea in Giwa Local Government consult to manage the ailment,what factors are responsible for adolescent females suffering from dysmenorrhea not accessing sources of information they feel it’s important. To answer the research questions a qualitative methodology was adopted. The methodology was chosen because it provides a framework for uncovering phenomenon from the point of view of the actors. It also provided a systematic approach to data collection, analysis, and synthesis of data leading to the emergence of categories, and themes. In-depth interview was used to collect data from 15 rural female adolescents in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State of Northern Nigeria who reported dysmenorrhea symptoms. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis process, because it enabled the researcher to identify, analyze and interpret patterns within the data collected from participants. The research findings revealed amongst others that adolescent females need information to overcome discomforts, psychological disorder and inability to perform customary responsibilities associated with dysmenorrheapreferred sources of information are primarily interpersonal (family and friends). Factors responsible for not consulting health practitioners for dysmenorrhea information include inhibition (shyness, secretive and embarrassment,), financial barrier and lack of husband permission. Therefore, recommendations were made which includesthe need forgovernment and health professionals to establish a synergistic relationship capable of providing a special information dissemination programme to the deserved beneficiaries; with the aim objective of reducing shyness on issues related to dysmenorrhea. In designing the dysmenorrhea information programme, health information professionals and other stakeholders should include adult males among their target audiences in order to educate them on the consequences and avenues for seeking help in relation to the ailment.
1.1 Background to the Study
Dysmenorrhea is a painful cramp in the lower abdomen during menstruation; it is a common health ailment that affects adolescent females (Kamatenesi, Oryem & Olwa 2007). Two typologies of dysmenorrhea are discerned in the literature: Primary and secondary (Akinnubi, 2016). The latter is associated with pelvic pain exclusive of pelvic pathology prior to and/or for the duration of menstruation and may not have a specific cause; and the former, is menstrual ache associated with pelvic organ diseases, which could be years after the start of the menstrual function (Dawood 1985; Campbell & McGrath, 1999). Primary dysmenorrhea occurs naturally within adolescent stage, while secondary dysmenorrhea is more frequent in older women (Hacker, Gambone, Hobel, Hacker and Moore, 2010).
Primary dysmenorrhea which is the focus of this study “occurs with each menstrual cycle or with occasional cycles (Durain, 2004). Symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea include: pain in the lower back, vomiting, weakness, low energy, headache, and diarrhea (Hacker, et al, 2010). It is also associated with depression, excitability, irritability, nervousness, inability to concentrate, tiredness, headache, insomnia, hypersomnia, swelling of face (Agrawal 2010; Wong, 2011; Gumanga & Kwame-Aryee, 2012; Iliyasu, Galadanci, Abubakar, Ismail, and Aliyu, 2012). For many females, primary dysmenorrhea is so severe, which incapacitate them for 1–3 days during each menstrual cycle (Joshi, Kural, Agrawal, Noor, Patil, 2014). As a consequence, primary dysmenorrhea is a source of significant concern (Adegbite, Omolaso, Seriki,
In particular, primary dysmenorrhea is a major cause of absenteeism from school, work and reduced productivity (Akinnubi, 2016; Liong, 2006; Joshi, Kural, Agrawal, Noor, Patil, 2014). The missed work caused by dysmenorrhea is associated with economic loss. For instance, as far back as year 2000 a study conducted in the United States concluded that about $300 millions were lost per day due to problems associated with dysmenorrhea (Liong, 2006; Gordley, Lemasters, Simpson & Yiin, 2000). More so, studies concluded that primary dysmenorrhea have negative effect on quality of life (Joshi, Kural, Agrawal, Noor, Patil, 2014).
Unfortunately, despite the negative consequences of dysmenorrhea, most adolescent females, particularly in developing countries who suffer from dysmenorrhea do not seek professional help; instead they rely on self-care (Lu, 2010). For most females that rely on self-care, particularly those residents in rural areas of developing nations, there is the danger of living with unrelieved pain that undermines their quality of life and wellbeing. This is against the backdrop that the skills and technology to relieve severe pain are advancing (Gagua, Besarion, Gagua, 2013) for improving wellbeing, quality of life, and overall health. Even though, quality of life and health is a subjective phenomenon (Bubien, Knotts-Dolson, Plumb, Kay, 1996; Joshi, Kural, Agrawal, Noor, & Patil, 2014), the World Health Organization defined health as being not only the absence of disease and infirmity but also the presence of physical, mental, and social well-being (Testa, & Simonson, 1996).
Therefore, to improve the quality of life of adolescent females suffering from dysmenorrhea scholars from different backgrounds have undertaken studies with a focus of reducing the negative consequences associated with the aliment. Most of these studies were conducted mainly from medical perspectives (Banikarim, Chacko &Kelder,2000; Patal, et al, 2006; Dawood, 2008). While the medical perspective has helped in better understanding of dysmenorrhea and has improved dysmenorrhea management
options.Unfortunately, studies about the social epistemic dynamics of dysmenorrhea is rare or non-existence particularly in the context of self-care in developing countries. As a result, very little is known about the information behaviors of adolescent females in their search for dysmenorrhea self-care best treatment options. In order to improve dysmenorrhea self-care treatment options among adolescent females, there is the compelling need to uncover dysmenorrhea information behaviors. A potentially useful approach of determining dysmenorrhea information behaviors is social epistemic approach. This approach offers a frame for understandings the knowledge and beliefs of individuals in the context of communal setting. It is concerned with how individuals construct knowledge about their reality (Abdullahi, Senekal, Schalekamp, Amzat and Saliman, 2012). It provides a lens for understanding individual everyday experiences with regard to how knowledge is constructed in social context (Crotty, 1998; Rorty, 1999).
Drawing from the social epistemic approach, this study reports the result of a study that investigateddysmenorrhea self-care management strategies with particular attention to dysmenorrhea information needs behaviors, and dysmenorrhea information source behaviors by adolescent females suffering from dysmenorrhea in the context of a rural setting in Nigeria. The objective is to improve dysmenorrhea self-care management strategies. The result has been proven effective in uncovering information behaviors for information systems design requirements.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Dysmenorrhea information help the sufferers of dysmenorrhea to have the knowledge about the onset, duration, and characteristics of pain, and also helps women to make an informed choice in terms of patients understanding and compliance with treatment (Guylaine & Odette, 2005). Information provides a summary of up-to-date evidence regarding the diagnosis, investigations, and medical and surgical management of dysmenorrhea (Pembe & Ndolele, 2011). In spite of the critical importance of information in the management of dysmenorrhea, dysmenorrhea affects 43% to 90% adolescent females worldwide (Wang, et al, 2004; Gumanga, & Kwame-Aryee, 2012; Wijesiri, & Suresh, 2013).
Dysmenorrhea is an ailment that has diverse consequences: Psychological (Wong, 2011; Gumanga & Kwame-Aryee, 2012), Social (Iliyasu, Galadanci, Abubakar, Ismail, and Aliyu, 2012), and Physical (Agarwal, 2010). The psychological consequences are depression, excitability, irritability, inability to concentrate on work, and nervousness. The psychological consequences occur both on the day before and after the stoppage of menstruation (Wong, 2011; Gumanga and Kwame-Aryee, 2012).
Other than psychological problems, females suffering from dysmenorrhea experience social and physical challenges. For instances, psychological problem leads to social problems. Depression is a health condition that is affecting social relation (Iliyasu, Galadanci, Abubakar, Ismail, and Aliyu, 2012). While physical consequences present before and during day of menstruation are lethargy and tiredness. Some females are encountered with insomnia, hypersomnia, fullness and tenderness of breasts, feeling of heaviness in the lower abdomen, pain and swelling in the ankle and knee joints, and swelling of face (Agrawal, 2010).
Therefore, to improve the quality of life of adolescent females suffering from dysmenorrhea, scholars have undertaken studies with a focus of reducing the negative consequences associated with the ailment. Most of these studies were conducted mainly from medical perspective (Banikarim, Chacko & Kelder, 2000; Patal, et al, 2006; Dawood, 2008). While the medical perspective has helped in better understanding of dysmenorrhea, and has improved dysmenorrhea management treatment options; unfortunately many adolescent females particularly in northern Nigeria are suffering from dysmenorrhea and even though they understand that help exists, but are not predisposed to accessing facilities that offer help (Marjoribanks, Proctor, &Derks, 2010; Wijesiri, & Suresh, 2013). However, we are yet to have a better understanding of the information behaviour of adolescent females in regards to primary dysmenorrhea. Not having an understanding of dysmenorrhea information behaviour is not healthy particularly in developing countries. This is essentially because we cannot say where adolescent females suffering from dysmenorrhea access and use information to reduce the complexity associated with the ailment.
This study adopted Chatman‘s Theory of Normative Behaviour as a theoretical framework, because the theory is relevant in explaining everyday reality of people who share a similar cultural space. Therefore, the theory explained the information behaviour of adolescent females suffering from dysmenorrhea. The objective is to improve dysmenorrhea self-care management strategies with particular attention to dysmenorrhea information needs behaviors, and dysmenorrhea information source behaviors. Chatman Theory of Normative Behaviour has four constructs: Social norms, Worldview, Social types and Information behaviour. (See Chapter 2).
1.3 Research Questions
This study addresses the following questions:
- What are the information needs of adolescent females suffering from primary dysmenorrhea in Giwa Local Government Area?
- What information sources do adolescent females suffering from primary dysmenorrhea in Giwa Local Government Area consult to manage the ailment?
- What sources of information do adolescent females suffering fromprimary dysmenorrhea in Giwa Local Government Area are aware of but refuse to access?
- What factors are responsible for adolescent females suffering from primary dysmenorrhea not accessing sources of information they feel are important?
- How does Chatman‘s Theory of Normative Behaviour explains the information behaviour of adolescent females suffering from primary dysmenorrhea in Giwa
Local Government Area?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of this study was to determine the information
behaviour.Specifically, information needs and information sources of adolescent females suffering from dysmenorrhea in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State. The study was set to achieve the following objectives:
- To investigate the information needs of adolescent females suffering from primary dysmenorrhea in Giwa Local Government Area
- Identify sources of information adolescents‘ females suffering from primary
dysmenorrhea in Giwa Local Government Area consult to manage the ailment.
- Find out the sources of information adolescent females suffering from primary dysmenorrhea in Giwa Local Government Area are aware of but refuse to access.
- To identify the factors responsible for adolescent females suffering from primarydysmenorrhea not accessing sources of information they feel is important.
- To explain Chatman‘s Theory of Normative Behaviour in relation to how adolescent females suffering from primary dysmenorrhea in Giwa Local
Government Area access and apply information to manage the ailments.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The studywould help to increase our knowledge and understanding on the information needs and information sources of adolescent females suffering from primary dysmenorrhea, as well as the factors that prevent them from not consulting some sources of information despite the benefits associated with them. Therefore, determining the dysmenorrhea information needs and information sources is a prerequisite for government and health care providers in planning interventions that seek to improve the management of dysmenorrhea among adolescent females.
The study would also inform the health care information providers, government agencies, policy makers and other stakeholders responsible for dissemination of dysmenorrhea information about possible actions adolescent females take in terms of seeking help. This would go a long way in helping them to take effective action to develop a model that would serve as a guide towards identifying better practices, strategies and new approaches to dysmenorrhea information among adolescent females.
The study applies the Chatman‘s Theory of Normative Behavior to better understand the information behaviour of adolescent females suffering from primary dysmenorrhea.This would contribute to the growing body of knowledge, specifically in the area of studies utilizing the Theory of Normative Behavior to study health related problems.
The study would communicate the information needs and information sources of adolescent females suffering from primary dysmenorrhea. This may be useful to health care providers in Kaduna State in planning health programs that target on adolescent females. This study could improve the quality of life and productivity of adolescent females in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State since the most effective information needs and information sources will be identified. Furthermore, the study would complement the efforts of other researchers, and also serve as a point of reference for future studies.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of the study was restricted to only adolescent females experiencing dysmenorrhea in Giwa Local Government Area, Kaduna State in Northern Nigeria. The study covers the information needs and information behaviour of adolescent females suffering from primary dysmenorrhea in Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
The following terms are defined operationally as used in the study:
Adolescent: this has to do withfemales suffering from dysmenorrhea from the
age of 15-24.
Dysmenorrhea: Dysmenorrhea simply means menstrual pain or a sharp painful
cramp in the lower abdomen during menstruation.
Information Behaviour: encompasses the information needs and information sources of
adolescent females suffering from dysmenorrhea.
Primary dysmenorrhea: Is defined as a cramping pain that is not associated with
macroscopic pelvic pathology.
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EXPLORING THE INFORMATION BEHAVIOUR OF YOUNG FEMALES SUFFERING FROM PRIMARY DYSMENORRHEA IN GIWA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF KADUNA STATE