Soothsaying as Health Seeking Behaviour: Implications for Medical Treatment of Diseases Perceived to be Supernatural
Keywords:Diviners, traditional, supernatural, soothsaying, invisible forces
AbstractIn spite of the advances in modern medical technologies in dealing with ill-health, a section of society continues to use divination in their search for therapy. Using a qualitative survey, this study sought to gain insight into reasons why this practice is pervasive. Data gathering methods included in-depth interviews with some renowned diviners, community members and healthcare providers. A focus group discussion was also organized to gain additional information on the use of divination. Findings suggest that on the pathway between symptoms recognition and therapy options, divination is often employed to pin down supernatural and other causes of misfortunes and ill-health. Patients with afflictions such diseases as burns, boils, anthrax, and snakebites tend to consult diviners first as they believe these conditions are of supernatural origin. This has implications for healthcare service and utilization. It is proposed that a bio-psycho-social-spiritual model should be integrated into clinical care of patients at modern healthcare facilities especially in diagnostic interviews and treatment regimes of patients
Adongo, P. B., Phillips, J. F., & Binka, F. N. (1998). The Influence of Traditional Religion on Fertility Regulation among the Kassen-Nankana of Northern Ghana. Studies in Family Planning , 23- 40.
Akrong, A. (2000). Neo-Witchcraft Mentality in Popular Christianity, Research Review New Series 16(1):1-12
Anandarajah, G., & Height, E. (2001). Spirituality and Medical Practice. Using the HOPE Questions as a Practical Tool for Spiritual Assessment. American Family Physician , 81. http:www.aafp.org/afp/2001/0101/p81.pdf
Anderson, A.H. (2001). African Reformation, African Initiated Christianity in the 20th Century
Assimeng, M. (2010) Religion and Social Change in West Africa: An Introduction to the Sociology of Religion; Second Edition, Woeli publishing services, Accra
Azongo, B. T. (2014) Some supernatural beliefs and practices in ill-health and therapy; The role of divination in health-seeking practices in the Talensi and Nabdam districts in Northern Ghana. Scholars press
Azongo, T. B. and Yidana, A. (2015) Spiritual Diagnostic Laboratory: The Role of Diviners in the Management and Resolution of Life Crises, American Journal of Sociological Research, Vol. 5(1): 7-13 DOI: 10.5923/j.sociology.20150501.02
Awalu, B. (2009). Dagomba Supernatural Beliefs and Care of the Sick. In C. Oppong, P. Antwi, & K. W. (eds), Care of the Sick and Dying. Perspectives from Ghana. (pp. 211-227). Bergen, Norway: Allkopi
Berger, L. P. & Luckmann, T. (1967) The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge; Anchor books,
Bierlich, B. (2000). Injections and the fear of death: an essay on the limits of biomedicine among the Dagomba of northern Ghana. Social Science & Medicine , 703-713.
Bourdillon, M.F.C. (1982). Pluralism and Problems of Belief; Archives de Sciences Sociales des Religions, 51(1): 21-42
Buetow, S. (2007) Non-attendance for health care: when rational beliefs collide; The Sociological Review, 55(3): 592-610
Dâ€™Souza, R (2007) The Importance of Spirituality in Medicine and Its Application to Clinical Practice. Medical Journal of Australia, 186 (10): S57-S59 (May 21)
Harley, D. (1999). Discussion Point: Rhetoric and the Social Construction of Sickness and Healing; The Society for the Social History of Medicine, pp. 407-435
Jansen, J. M. (1987) Therapy Management: Concept, Reality, Process; Medical Anthropology Quarterly, New Series, Vol. 1(1): 68-84
Kirby, J (1993): â€˜The Islamic dialogue with African traditional religion: divination and health careâ€™. In Social Science and Medicine, 1993 Feb;36 (3):237-47.
Langwick, S. (2007) Devils, Parasites and Fierce Needles: Healing and the Politics of Translation in South eastern Tanzania. Science, Technology and Human Values, 32 (1): 88-117
Ofosu-Amaah, S. (2005). Health and Diseases in Ghana: The Origins of Disease and the Future of our Health. Accra: Pagelinks
Marshal, G. (1994) The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Sociology. Oxford: Oxford University
Ojua, T. A. and Omono, C.(2012). African Sacrificial ceremonies and issues in socio-cultural
Development, British Journal of Arts and Social Development, 4: 1
Rumun, J. A. (2014) The Socio-Cultural Pattern of Illness and Health Care in Nigeria, European Journal of Humanities and social Sciences Vol 30(1): 587-598
Sackey, B. (2006). New Directions in Gender and Religion: The changing status of women in African independent churches, ROWMAN & LITTLEFIELD PUBLICATION, INC
Vaughn, L. M., Farrah, J., and Raymond C. B. (2009) Cultural Health Attributions, Beliefs, and Practices: Effects on Healthcare and Medical Education; Open Medical Education Journal, Vol. 2 pp. 64-74
Yidana, A. (2014) Responding Rationally to Situational Problems: An Analytical Account of the Waves of Pentecostal Movements in Ghana; American Journal of Sociological Research 4(5): 132-142 DOI: 10.5923/j.sociology.20140405.02
Yidana, A. (2014) Socio-Religious Factors Influencing the Increasing Plausibility of Faith Healing in Ghana, Doctoral thesis, Martin Luther University, Germany.
How to Cite
- Papers must be submitted on the understanding that they have not been published elsewhere (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture, review, or thesis) and are not currently under consideration by another journal published by any other publisher.
- It is also the authors responsibility to ensure that the articles emanating from a particular source are submitted with the necessary approval.
- The authors warrant that the paper is original and that he/she is the author of the paper, except for material that is clearly identified as to its original source, with permission notices from the copyright owners where required.
- The authors ensure that all the references carefully and they are accurate in the text as well as in the list of references (and vice versa).
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).
- The journal/publisher is not responsible for subsequent uses of the work. It is the author's responsibility to bring an infringement action if so desired by the author.