Traditional healers' and biomedical practitioners' perceptions of collaborative mental healthcare in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review

Green, Bethany and Colucci, Erminia ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9714-477X (2020) Traditional healers' and biomedical practitioners' perceptions of collaborative mental healthcare in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review. Transcultural Psychiatry, 57 (1) . pp. 94-107. ISSN 1363-4615 (doi:10.1177/1363461519894396)

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Abstract

Access to mental healthcare in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is one of the greatest challenges in public health today. One suggestion for improving accessibility is through collaboration between biomedical practitioners and traditional healers. This paper reviews studies of traditional healers’ and biomedical practitioners’ perceptions of collaboration. We conducted a systematic review of online databases, selected journals, and reference lists for relevant studies. Eligible papers were assessed using a tool designed for this review for quality and study characteristics, and qualitative data demonstrating participants’ views were extracted. A total of 14 papers from seven countries were included. The published literature on this topic is relatively homogenous and studies are of variable quality. The findings suggest that, despite differing conceptualisations of mental illness causation, both traditional healers and biomedical practitioners recognise that patients can benefit from a combination of both practices and demonstrate a clear willingness to work together. There are concerns about patients’ safety and human rights regarding traditional methods and some healers are sceptical about the effectiveness of Western psychiatric medication. Despite keeping the inclusion criteria open to all LMICs, all 13 studies were conducted in Africa, seven of which were in South Africa. This limits the applicability of the findings of this review to the wider LMIC context. The paper concludes with recommendations for research and practice.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Health (social science), psychiatry and mental health, collaboration, community care, low- and middle-income countries, mental health, traditional healer
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology
Item ID: 28865
Notes on copyright: Green, B., & Colucci, E. (2020). Traditional healers’ and biomedical practitioners’ perceptions of collaborative mental healthcare in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review. Transcultural Psychiatry. Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). DOI: 10.1177/1363461519894396
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2020 10:53
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2020 00:14
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/28865

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