Health-seeking behaviors and social change: The experience of the Hong Kong Chinese elderly

Eleanor Holroyd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, the author outlines how the Hong Kong Chinese elderly revise, shift, and modify their health-seeking behaviors to adapt to rapid social change, presenting data drawn from three studies undertaken with elderly Chinese conducted in Hong Kong during the period 1993 to 1998. The primary data source is a qualitative survey involving interviews with 47 elderly Hong Kong Chinese men and women to ascertain their health-seeking beliefs and behaviors. The author analyzes how public policy and Confucian rhetoric constitute social guidelines, which are perceived in light of an individual's resources, gender and generational experiences and are manifest in health-seeking behaviors: seeking religious solace, preparing special food, visiting formal and informal healers, and shifting expectations of what constitutes family support. The article highlights the interface between public interpretations of old age, morality, religion, filial support, and personalized meaning as manifest in health behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-750
Number of pages20
JournalQualitative Health Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Health-seeking behaviors and social change: The experience of the Hong Kong Chinese elderly'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this