Nigerian cultural beliefs about mental health conditions and traditional healing: a qualitative study

Jidong, Dung Ezekiel, Bailey, Di, Sodi, Tholene, Gibson, Linda, Sawadogo, Natewinde, Ikhile, Deborah, Musoke, David, Madhombiro, Munyaradzi and Mbah, Marcellus (2021) Nigerian cultural beliefs about mental health conditions and traditional healing: a qualitative study. Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, 16 (4). pp. 285-299. ISSN 1755-6228

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Abstract

Purpose
This study aims to explore how cultural beliefs and traditions are integral to understanding indigenous mental health conditions (MHCs) and traditional healing (TH). However, Nigerian cultural beliefs about MHCs and TH are under-researched.

Design/methodology/approach
This study adopted a qualitative design using critical realist and social constructionist perspectives to explore Nigerian mental health-care practitioners (MHCPs) and lay participants’ (LPs) views regarding MHCs and TH. Purposive and snowball sampling techniques were used to select 53 participants (MHCPs = 26; LPs = 27; male = 32; female = 21) in four Nigerian cities (Ado-Ekiti, Enugu, Jos and Zaria). Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and analysed through thematic analyses.

Findings
The data sets revealed three overarching themes, namely, existing cultural beliefs about MHCs as spiritual curse; description of TH as the first treatment modality for MHCs; and perceived stigma associated with MHCs and help-seeking behaviours.

Originality/value
A study on Nigerian cultural beliefs and TH contributes meaningfully to mental health systems. Future research and policy initiatives could explore ways of optimising TH practices and community awareness programmes to increase access to mental health care in Nigeria.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Cultural beliefs, Mental health conditions, Practices, Traditional healing, Nigeria
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2021 09:31
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2021 15:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/102037

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