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Unmet surgical needs and trust deficit in marginalized communities in India: a comparative cross-sectional survey

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posted on 2024-01-08, 13:14 authored by Kranti Vora, Shahin Saiyed, Falguni Salvi, Lyndsay S Baines, Dileep Mavalankar, Rahul M Jindal
Introduction: We carried out a household study of surgical unmet needs and trust in the physician and perception of quality in the health system in a rural Tribal area and an urban slum in India. Methods: A community-based, cross-sectional study was carried out in a Tribal and in an urban slum in Gujarat, India. We surveyed 7914 people in 2066 households in urban slum and 5180 people of 1036 households in rural Tribal area. The Surgeons Overseas Assessment of Surgical need was used to identify surgical met and unmet needs. Two instruments for trust deficit ‘the Socio-culturally Competent Trust in Physician Scale for a Developing Country Setting’ and ‘Patient perceptions of quality’ were also administered to understand perception about healthcare. Frequencies and proportions (categorical variable) summarized utilization of surgical services and surgical needs. P < 0.05 was statistically significant. Results: Slums and Tribal areas were significantly different in sociodemographic indicators. Unmet surgical needs in Tribal area were less than 5% versus 39% in the urban slum. Major need of surgery in Tribal area was for eye conditions in older population, while surgical conditions in extremities and abdomen were predominant in the urban area. Trust level was high for physicians in both areas. Conclusions: Surgical unmet needs were significantly lower in Tribal versus urban area, possibly due to high priority given by the Indian government to alleviate poverty, social deprivation and participation of NGOs. Our study will give impetus to study unmet surgical needs and formulation of health policies in India and low-and-middle- income countries.



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Publication title

Journal of Surgical Research




Elsevier BV


United States

File version

  • Published version


  • eng

Item sub-type

Journal Article

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Affiliated with

  • School of Allied Health Outputs