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British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, ISSN: 2231-0614,Vol.: 21, Issue.: 12


Traditional Bone Setters in Port Harcourt Nigeria: Perception, Patronage and Practice: A Prospective Cross-sectional Study


T. E. Diamond1, S. E. B. Ibeanusi1* and R. C. Echem1

1Department of Surgery, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Article Information
(1) Panagiotis Korovessis, Chief Orthopaedic Surgeon, Orthopaedic Department, General Hospital “Agios Andreas” Patras, Greece.
(1) Pedro Gómez Piqueras, Universidad De Castilla-La Mancha, Spain.
(2) Ashraf Ramadan Hafez, Deraya University, Egypt.
(3) Anthony Olasinde, Federal Medical Centre Owo, Nigeria.
(4) Vijaya Krishnan, Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, India.
Complete Peer review History: http://www.sciencedomain.org/review-history/19378


Background: Treatment of musculoskeletal disorders by Traditional Bone Setters (TBS) is as old as man’s effort at caring for his bone. In spite of the numerous limb-deforming and limb-threatening complications caused by this unorthodox method of care, the TBS still enjoy high patronage in the developing world.

Aim: To evaluate the patronage and practice as well as the perception of patients receiving orthopaedic care at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) concerning traditional bone setters.

Methods: A prospective non-randomized cross sectional study of 192 patients presenting to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital from Jan 2013 to July 2014 with complications following TBS care of musculo-skeletal problems was undertaken. Relevant data was obtained from each patient and analyzed. Descriptive statistics are presented in the results.

Results: A total of 192 patients were seen; One hundred and fifteen (115; 64.6%) were males while seventy-eight (78; 35.4%) were female patients giving a male to female ratio of 1.5:1. Age of the patients ranged from 10months to 76years with mean age (35.1 ± 19.3) years. Patients aged (21-30) years and (31-40) years age groups cumulatively constituted 42.6% of the study population.

Students (65; 33.8%) and traders (41; 21.3%) were more common than other professions, with 73.4% of the population having at least secondary level of education.

Following injury, more patients (78.6%, n=151/192) visited the TBS first than hospitals (10.2%, n= 41/192) with 46.4% (n=89) of patients visiting at least 2 TBS before hospital visit. The most common reason (n=82/192) for TBS visit was the strong faith patients had in the TBS.

Conclusion: Strong faith in the competence of the TBS and perceived lower cost of care are key factors influencing perception and patronage of the TBS in Port Harcourt. Intervention programs need to address these key factors.

Keywords :

Traditional bone setters; unorthodox treatment; patronage; awareness programs.

Full Article - PDF    Page 1-8

DOI : 10.9734/BJMMR/2017/34332

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