Determinants of Patronage of Traditional Bone Setters in the Middle Belt of Nigeria
Background: Traditional bone setting is a practice that is common in our environment. This is a community based survey of opinions concerning orthodox and traditional fracture management in four states of the middle belt of Nigeria. We set out to ascertain the factors influencing preference of treatment of fractures among populations in the middle belt of Nigeria. Methodology: A community based questionnaire survey of randomly selected adults regarding preference of choice of treatment between orthodox and traditional fracture management. Results: One hundred and eighty-six questionnaires were found analyzable with a male to female ratio of 2:1. There was a preponderance of preference for orthodox fracture management (70.4%). Decisions were mainly collegiate, outside the influence of the individual; only 9.9% decided to attend traditional bone setters on their own. Conclusion: Reasons adduced for preference of traditional bone setters were incongruous and inconsistent. A fixated cultural outlook was recognized as being the motivating factor for patronage of traditional bone setters. Need for enlightenment campaign of the public against patronage of traditional bone setters is emphasized. A gradual phasing out of traditional bone setting with a road map towards making orthodox fracture management available to all is advocated.
Keywords: Traditional bone setting, orthodox fracture management, preference of treatment, fixated cultural outlook.
Nigerian Journal of Medicine Vol. 17 (3) 2008: pp. 356-359