Perspectives in musculoskeletal injury management by traditional bone setters in Ashanti, Ghana

EDUSEI, Anthony K
OWUSU-ANSAH, Frances E
DOGBE, Joslin A
MORGAN, Julia
SARPONG, Kofi

Publication Date 

2015
8 pp

Background: The popularity of the services of traditional bone setters (TBS) in Ghana as an alternative health care requires exploration and documentation of the perspectives of providers and users. 

 

Objective: To explore and document the perspectives of providers and users of the services of TBS in the management of musculoskeletal injuries in the Ashanti region, Ghana.

 

Methods: From the social constructivist and qualitative approach, in-depth interviews were used to explore the perspectives of eight TBS and 16 users of their services, selected purposively through snowballing. Thematic content analysis (TCA) was employed.

 

Results: High recovery rate, warm reception, prompt attention, and the relatively lower charges, are reported to motivate the patronage of the services of TBS for the management of fractures in the legs, arms, ribs, joint bones dislocations, waist and spinal cord problems. The TBS combined traditional and orthodox procedures, using plant and animal-based materials, beliefs, spirituality (God-given) and physical therapy in the management of musculoskeletal injuries. No adverse experience was reported by either the providers or users of the traditional management methods.

 

Conclusion: With plant and animal-based materials, TBS are observed to combine traditional and orthodox procedures to confidently manage musculoskeletal injuries to the satisfaction of their highly motivated patrons. Although over 60% of the TBS attribute the healing power behind their practice to God, the rest do not discount the role of spiritual therapy. Further studies expanded to include the perspectives of non-users of the services of the TBS will authenticate the findings of this study.

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