n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Health care practitioners' opinions about traditional healing

Supplement 2
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has been encouraging governments to assume an active role in recruiting traditional healers to be part of primary health care. However, studies in many parts of the world have reported mixed results regarding health care practitioners' opinions of traditional healing. This study aimed to investigate South African-based western-trained health care practitioners' opinions about traditional African healing. Three hundred and nineteen health care practitioners participated in this study. Participants were conveniently sampled from state hospitals and clinics in two provinces in South Africa, namely Limpopo and Gauteng. The study used the Opinions of Traditional Healing Questionnaire for data collection. Results of the Kruskal-Wallis Test revealed a significant difference in opinions of traditional healing across the four categories of health care practitioners [Psychiatrists (n = 25), Physicians (n = 37), General nurses (n = 168) and Psychiatric nurses (n = 89)], X2 (3, n = 319) = 9.45, p = 0.024. The results revealed that health care practitioners working with psychiatric conditions had more positive opinions than general physicians and general nurses. By implication, if South Africa were to investigate the integration of traditional healers into primary health care, as the WHO proposes, psychiatric services and institutions would be the first logical contact for optimal integration.

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