Use of traditional healers and modern medicine in Ghana

Int Nurs Rev. 2006 Mar;53(1):52-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1466-7657.2006.00444.x.


Purpose: To gain understanding of the use of traditional and modern medicine among the people in Ghana, West Africa.

Methods: Data were collected from nine participants using a semi-structured questionnaire developed by the researchers based on review of the literature.

Findings: Data analysis was performed manually using reduction methodology to develop broad themes. Findings indicated that choices in healthcare modalities by literate Ghanaians included either traditional or modern medicine, or blending of both. Strong influences on these choices were the level of education and related themes, influence of family and friends, and spiritual/religious beliefs.

Implications: Findings indicate that traditional and modern medicines will always be part of Ghanaian healthcare delivery and efforts should be made to integrate traditional practitioners into the national healthcare delivery system.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Choice Behavior
  • Christianity / psychology
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Ghana
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Islam / psychology
  • Male
  • Medicine*
  • Medicine, African Traditional*
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Qualitative Research
  • Religion and Psychology
  • Spirituality
  • Surveys and Questionnaires