Document Type

Article

Department

Family Medicine

Abstract

Objective: To study the use of the services of spiritual healers, among patients visiting the family physicians, at a teaching hospital in, Karachi. Design: Cross-sectional survey
Place and Duration of Study: Family practice center, the Aga Khan University, Karachi, from February to June, 2001
Subjects and Methods: A total of 387 patients were surveyed. A questionnaire was developed and administered to collect information on the use of the services of spiritual healers among the respondents.
Results: Most of the respondents were young, well educated and better placed socio-economically. The use of the services of spiritual healers was found in 45 (11.6%) of the respondents. Recommendation of someone, having belief in spiritual healers, doctors could not cure and spiritual healers are reliable and effective were stated to be the reasons for consulting them. Reasons given by 342 respondents (88.3%) for not consulting the spiritual healers included lack of belief in spiritual healers, allopaths are more effective, spiritual healers are un-scientific and not considered a treatment option. With regards to the future use of the services of spiritual healers, 29 (64.4%) of the respondents indicated their willingness to see them, if needed.
Conclusions: We have documented the use of the services of spiritual healers with important implications for medical practice

Publication

Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences

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