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Multidimensional health locus of control and qualitative study of goitre patients consulting traditional healers prior to orthodox doctors

Author: 
Akanbi, O.O., Oyewole, A.O., Oguntola, A.S. Ajiboye, A.O., Adeoti, M.L., Amole, I.O. and Olalere, S.A.
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Goitre is an enlargement of the thyroid gland which often presents with a conspicuous swelling in the anterio-lateral region of the neck. We prospectively investigated the characteristics of 68 patients who attended our clinics over a 2 years period that previously patronized traditional healers in the course of their disease. Twenty two (32.35%) patients consulted orthodox doctors as their first and only point of contact, while forty six (67.64%) patients first consulted traditional healers prior to orthodox doctors’ consultation. The mean age of patients without traditional healers’ consultation was 33 years (±9.2412) which is lower compared to those with prior traditional healers’ consultation whose mean age was 47.95 years (±9.1780 ) (P <0.001). Female sex and patients in low socio economic class tend to consult traditional healers first. The patients’ marital status and religion show no statistical significant difference in their pattern of consultation. Better outcomes seen in the patients that consulted orthodox doctors, was the main reason for consulting orthodox doctors by traditional healer consulters. The mean powerful health locus of control for patients with prior traditional healers’ consultation is higher than that of patient without (31.23 (±1.38) vs. 17.41 (±0.361), p < 0.001) while the mean internal health locus of control for patients without prior traditional healers’ consultation is higher than that of patients with prior traditional healers’ consultation (29.11(±1.53) vs. 24.32 (±1.61), p < 0.001). The mean chance health locus of control shows no statistical significant difference. Most patients consulting traditional healers do so as a result of erroneous belief about the cause of goitre, immediate access to treatment within their vicinity and believe in the expertise of traditional healers.

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