IFGH 2012: Health Conceptions among Adolescents: A Qualitative Study at Sylhet, Bangladesh

January 29, 2012


Authors:Khan AKMD.

Author Affiliations: Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Sylhet, Bangladesh

Option 1– Scientific / Empirical Research Findings Presented as – Poster (unable to present)


World Health Organization defines ‘Health’ as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. According to WHO age between 10 and 19 years is considered as adolescence period. ; a bridge between childhood and adulthood. A large portion of adolescents do not get the opportunity of access to health care due to insufficient knowledge on health. Adolescent health is a new sphere of thinking and a strong agenda in the Health and Population Sector Strategy of Bangladesh. For better understanding about adolescents’ conception on health, we carried out a qualitative study to investigate how the adolescents conceptualized health.


We selected a smallest administrative area under Sylhet district of Bangladesh. We collected data from 50 adolescents. We performed in-depth interview among 20 adolescents. We conducted four FDGs in male and female group separately. We obtained verbal consent from adolescents’ guardians before data collection. Interviews were conducted in a place within their households chosen by the participants. Tape recorded interviews were transcribed. Data analysis was manually performed using content, contextual and thematic analysis.


Most of the adolescents did not have clear conception about the meaning of the term “Health” in term of WHO’s definition. They emphasized that the appearance of body structure is the indicator of health. They divided human body into two parts; inner and outer. The flesh and intestine are covered by skin. Soul is considered as the internal part of body. Respondents explained that female body as less strong than male and female become easily infected. Few adolescents believed that health as state of diseases free condition.

Discussion/conclusions/ implications:

Our study revealed that adolescents have diversified thinking on health which demands to provide special attention for improving their understanding on health.



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