Are Medical Students willing to Patronize Traditional Bone Setters in the Future? A Study among Medical Students of Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, Nigeria
Background: A large proportion of fractures are still managed by traditional bone setters in developing nations. The study was designed to determine the willingness to patronize traditional bone setters in the future among medical students of Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, Nigeria.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of all preclinical and clinical medical students of the university. Information was obtained using a pretested, self- administered questionnaire. Data were analyzed using IBM SPSS statistical software version 22.0 and level of statistical significance was determined by a p value of < 0.05.
Results: A total of 385 students participated in the study (response rate; 83.7%). Mean age of respondents was 23.2±3.4 years. One quarter of the respondents, 82 (25.0%) have patronized traditional bone setters before. About half indicated that traditional bone setters receive more patronage than orthopedic surgeons, however three-quarters of them preferred services of Surgeons. Two-thirds opined that bone setters have more treatment failures, and only 72 (18.7%) were willing to patronize traditional bone setters in future. Major reasons to patronize them included skilled/good service delivery, 34 (47.2%) and low cost, 21 (29.2%). Predictor of willingness to patronize traditional bone setters in future was previous use of traditional bone setters, (AOR=8.3, 95%CI: 4.7-14.9, p<0.001)
Conclusion: The practice of traditional bone setting is widespread and enjoys much acceptance in the society despite high rates of treatment failures associated with it. Thus, there is the need to monitor the activities of traditional bone setters to enhance competence and encourage referral.