Medicosocial study on the influence of indigenous knowledge on perception of disease status: using a cardiovascular disease as a model

Ejiofor Augustine Ezika*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Cultural beliefs may shape understanding of disease. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is increasing in prevalence in urban Nigerian communities; hence, the aim of this research is to explore spiritual views in this context.

Material and Methods: This study employed convenience sampling to recruit 50 participants via word of mouth, posters, handbills and community networks. The author drew from his indigenous knowledge to design tools in collaboration with stakeholders, including the community members, faith leaders and leaders in community healthcare practice; to investigate and explore the views of an urban community members in Nigeria on their indigenous beliefs about factors that contribute to CVD.

Results: The views that emerged in exploring perceived spiritual factors that contribute to CVD were organised into two preceptions, namely: spiritual inflicted diseases influenced by humans and spiritual inflicted diseases influenced by non-humans. The perceived spiritually inflicted diseases influenced by humans are through witchery and sorcery. The perceived spiritual inflicted diseases influenced by non-humans are through Satan, deities, and God. Spiritually inflicted diseases are perceived to be transmitted through pets, such as domestic cats, birds like owls, bats and objects. Perceived spiritually inflicted diseases can only be healed through spiritual means.

Conclusion: In a well-educated, ethnically diverse urban setting the view that spiritual factors have an impact on health and disease is prevalent. Since this may have an impact on healthcare choices, it should be accommodated for in public health planning, and further explored through community-based participatory research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-202
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Health Science and Medical Research
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

Keywords

  • cardiovascular disease
  • indigenous knowledge
  • Nigeria
  • spiritual factors

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