ALPHA PSYCHIATRY
Original Articles

The search for traditional religious treatment amongst schizophrenic patients: the current situation

Alpha Psychiatry 2016; 17: 174-180
DOI: 10.5455/apd.195417
Read: 453 Downloads: 257 Published: 01 June 2016

Objective: Societies have been searching for different traditional treatments for schizophrenia at different rates. Understanding the preferences and priorities of patients as they explore treatment is important for the proper management of this process. This study evaluated the frequency of patients’ pursuit of traditional treatment for schizophrenia and the factors associated with this in western Turkey. Methods: The study involved 346 patients who were diagnosed with schizophrenia at inpatient psychiatry clinics and community mental health centers in Kocaeli and Sakarya. The patients were re-evaluated using the SCID-I-CV to confirm the diagnosis and were then asked to fill in a survey form to facilitate the evaluation of their search for traditional schizophrenia treatment. Results: Amongst the participants, 89.3% had consulted a traditional healer for schizophrenia treatment at least once in their lifetime. All of the traditional healers who were consulted were religious healers. Of all the participants, 39% consulted traditional healers for first aid treatment. Although the patients had not had any attack that required hospitalization in the past year, 27% continued to consult such healers and 26% continued to wear amulets. The results showed that the educational levels of the patients’ relatives were a predictor of the tendency to consult traditional healers. Conclusions: Most schizophrenic patients have consulted traditional religious healers at least once in their lifetime (89.3%). This is a very high rate and should be considered by physicians as they evaluate patients’ search for help. [Anadolu Psikiyatri Derg 2016; 17(3.000): 174-180]

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