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Title: Socio-cultural influence on choice of biomedicine : western style medicine versus traditional medicine in Ghana
Author: Takyi, Wusu
ISNI:       0000 0001 3496 368X
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2006
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Research on socio-cultural influences on the choice of Western Style Medicine (WSM) versus Traditional Medicine (TM) in developing countries most often use qualitative methodology. Studies that use quantitative methodology either focus exclusively on demographic and socio-economic factors or combine socio-economic and cultural beliefs indicators into a single cultural change variable as the basis of analysis. The consequence is that the relative influence of cultural beliefs and socio-economic factors has, largely, not been explored. This gap is filled by qualitative studies most of which place too much emphasis on cultural beliefs as the main influence on choice between WSM and TM in developing countries. This thesis employed an analytic survey in rural Sekyere West District (SWD) of Ashanti region in Ghana to systematically study the socio-cultural influences on choice of WSM versus TM, with the aim of assessing the relative influence of cultural beliefs and socio-economic factors on people’s choices. Using the 2000 Ghanaian electoral register as the sampling frame, a three stage sampling procedure was used to select a sample size of 800 adults. The data was collected between March and July 2004 and a 75 percent response rate was achieved, thus 603 responses. The survey data was analysed using tabular and logistic regression analytic techniques. Three measures of use were analysed, namely normative use of WSM, actual use of WSM and the use of WSM as a first choice. The research revealed that socio-economic factors (income, education and location of residence) were the most important in influencing people’s choice of using WSM. This was followed by demographic characteristics (sex and marital status, and age in the case of actual use of WSM). The cultural beliefs factors (general beliefs) emerged as the least important influence on respondents’ choices. Income emerged as the most important. The combined effect of income and location of residence made them the two most important variables in explaining the use of WSM in this area of rural Ghana. Respondents in the higher socio-economic group reported using WSM more than their lower socio-economic counterparts. The results suggest that cultural beliefs are not as important in influencing people’s choice between WSM and TM in rural communities as is suggested in sections of the literature. Like any other goods or services requiring expenditure of some sort, the ability to pay for WSM assumes prime importance. The implication of the findings is that, to promote the utilisation of WSM in rural communities, policy makers need to seriously consider income generation programmes and/or a reduction in the cost of WSM in these areas.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available