Objective: To assess care-seeking behaviors, perceptions of quality, and access to health services among populations affected by the 2007 Peruvian earthquake.
Methods: A stratified cluster survey design was used to allow for comparison between urban, periurban, and rural populations of the 4 provinces most affected by the earthquake. Forty-two clusters of 16 households (n = 672) were interviewed approximately 6 months after the earthquake.
Results: Of all of the respondents, 38% reported that a household member sought medical care within 2 weeks after the earthquake. Earthquake-related injury, presence of a chronic medical condition, and residence in temporary housing were significantly associated with care seeking in adjusted models. Individuals experiencing earthquake-related injuries and those with chronic medical conditions, respectively, were 7.1 times (95% confidence interval [CI] 3.7–13.7) and 1.9 times (95% CI 1.3–2.9) more likely to seek medical care; temporary housing residents were 1.7 times (95% CI 1.0–2.8) more likely to seek care than those residing in permanent housing.
Conclusions: Earthquake-related injury and chronic medical conditions were associated with care seeking in the first 2 weeks after the 2007 Ica earthquake. Households living in temporary housing were more likely to seek medical care than those residing in permanent structures, suggesting that displaced people are more likely to need medical attention. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2009;3:97–103)