Reproductive tract problems among Higaonon women in Agusan Del Norte : their experiences, perceived etiology and health-seeking behavior

Date of Publication


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Health Social Science

Subject Categories

Applied Behavior Analysis | Indigenous Education | Multicultural Psychology | Women's Studies


College of Liberal Arts


Behavioral Sciences

Thesis Adviser

Dr. Ma. Elena Chiong Javier

Defense Panel Chair

Dr. Rene D. Somera

Defense Panel Member

Dr. Robert Anthony C. Salazar
Dr. Cecilia S. Acuin


This exploratory and descriptive study aims to find out the experiences, perceived etiology and health-seeking behavior with reproductive tract infections among Higaonon women in Barangay Simbalan, Buenavista, Agusan del Norte. It attempts to generate hypotheses and explanatory model of the same. The sample of the study consisted of 14 focus group discussion participants, 33 in-depth interviewees and a midwife, who is the only medical practitioner stationed in the barangay health center. Findings of the study revealed that Higaonon women are extremely poor, illiterate and detached from the mainstream society. They are greatly overburdened with the multiple chores at home and the rigorous tasks in the farm. Their ways of life are largely indigenous, still in subsistence phase with their men hunting and they tilling the fields. They are relatively unexposed to modern, scientific influences. In the past 12 months, Higaonon wowen respondents experienced a combination of two or more reproductive tract problems like sakit sa pus-on (pain in the lower abdominal area, 22), sakit sa bat-ang (pelvic pain, 16), tagiti (painful urination, 14) and sakit sa onay (pain in the uterus, 12).Respondents generally attributed their experienced reproductive tract problems to work-related causes, which may possibly be because the women's daily preoccupation is focused on either 'to do tasks at home' or 'in the farm'. Health-seeking behavior was mainly curative and self-administered using available resources (roots, leaves and barks of trees) in the area.

Certain sociodemographic factors were found to affect the respondents experiences, perceived etiology and health-seeking behavior with reproductive tract problems. Age at marriage, age at first delivery, number of pregnancies and daily activities of the respondents were found to affect experiences with reproductive tract problems among Higaonon women. The respondents'age, education and distance from the barangay center affected respondents' perceived etiology regarding experienced reproductive tract problems. Education and distance from the barangay center were found to affect respondents' health-seeking behavior. Research hypotheses were generated from the study for future researches. Programs and extension services like education for early adolescents, training for local midwives, literacy class and information from both the health care and educational systems were recommended. Certain research gaps in the study were identified and recommended for future studies.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

104 leaves


Health surveys; Rural women -- Philippines -- Agusan del Norte; Women -- Health and hygiene; Generative organs -- Infections; Manners and customs; Help-seeking behavior

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