South African Family Practice

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Why do male patients request circumcisions?

A Engelbrecht, S Smith


Background: Circumcision has been performed for centuries. The popularity of the procedure waxed and waned during the ages. In South Africa, cultural circumcision is often regarded as the only way to attain full adulthood, and consequently many patients request circumcision by medical personnel. The aim of this study was to explore the motivations and perceptions of patients requesting circumcision at Kalafong Hospital.

Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted with patients requesting circumcision. Interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed and themes were identified. Triangulation was used to enhance the trustworthiness of the data.

Results: The themes that were identified were cultural acceptance, fear of mountain school, improved intercourse, prevention of disease and improved hygiene.

Conclusions: Doctors should adopt a compassionate attitude when patients request circumcision. It is imperative to discuss patients' expectations. If this is not done, patients' problems may remain unsolved. The perception that circumcision provides effective protection against sexually transmitted diseases is dangerous and should be addressed fully.

Keywords:circumcision, penile, motivation, qualitative

For full text , click here:SA Fam Prac 2004;46(2):25-28
AJOL African Journals Online