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Do health beliefs explain traditional medical therapies utilisation? Evidence from Ghana

Authors
  • Razak Mohammed Gyasi1
  • Felix Asante2
  • Kabila Abass2
  • Joseph Yaw Yeboah2
  • Samuel Adu-Gyamfi2
  • Padmore Adusei Amoah1
  • Samuel Adu-Gyamfi
Type
Published Article
Journal
Cogent Social Sciences
Publisher
Informa UK (Taylor & Francis)
Publication Date
July 2016
Volume
2
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/23311886.2016.1209995
Source
MyScienceWork
License
Green

Abstract

Although the direct impact of health beliefs on unconventional medical therapies consumption are well documented, the previous empirical findings of the relationship have been much inconsistent and theoretically subtle in Ghana. Using social cognitive thesis, this paper examines how relative effects of personal health beliefs influence the use of traditional medicine in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Drawing on a qualitative approach involving rural and urban peculiarities and 36 in-depth interviews, this research study adopts a posteriori inductive reduction model to derive broad-and sub-themes. Results suggest that health-seeking behaviour in Ghana is a socially negotiated process in which cultural beliefs play a major role in moulding the use of unconventional therapies. Perceived displeasure and pure medicalisation of western medicine push individuals into traditional medicine use. Cultural norms and health beliefs in the form of personal philosophies, desire to be part of the healing process, illness perceptions and aetiology, holistic and natural healing approaches, and perceptions on quality of care ascribe the widespread use of traditional medicine. The complexities of personal belief constructs underscore behavioural change towards traditional medicine uptake. This paper theorises that health-seeking behaviour is subject to the complex sociocultural orientation and

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