26th International Conference on Psychiatry, Neuro and Mental Health
  • Follow

Accepted Abstracts

Perspectives of Sudanese Psychiatrists and Trainees Towards Traditional Healers in Khartoum

Mohammed Ibrahim Hassan* and Abdul-Aziz Ahmed Omer
Head of Psychiatry Department, Sudaese Medical Research Association, Sudan.

Citation: Hassan MI, Omer AAA (2021) Perspectives of Sudanese Psychiatrists and Trainees Towards Traditional Healers in Khartoum. SciTech Mental Health 2021. 

Received: July 17, 2021         Accepted: July 21, 2021         Published: July 21, 2021


Background: Traditional healing for people with mental illness is popular in many parts of the world, including Sudan. The role of traditional healers in Sudan cannot be ignored. According to the WHO, 80% of people with mental health difficulties seek help from traditional healers before going to health services. Psychiatrists are reticent to collaborate with traditional healers, which has not been thoroughly and widely investigated in Sudan. Objectives: The current study explored the opinions and attitudes of psychiatrists and psychiatry trainees in Sudan towards traditional healers to understand their willingness to work with traditional healers and assess what factors might influence such collaboration.
Methods: N=108 psychiatrists and psychiatric trainees were recruited to this descriptive cross-sectional study. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire.
Results: Psychiatric trainees (n=70) and qualified psychiatrists (n=38) participated. Overall, 51% supported the idea of collaboration between psychiatric doctors and traditional healers; 57% wanted to learn more about traditional practice, 51% expressed willingness to engage in discussion and workshops with traditional healers; 72% stated they would not refer patients to traditional healers.
Conclusion: Half of participants in Khartoum supported collaboration with traditional healers. There is no significant association between participants’ experiences of traditional healers and their opinions on the integration between psychiatry and traditional healing. Most participants agreed there may be a role for traditional healing methods in the treatment of anxiety, but not for the treatment of psychotic, mood, and personality disorders.
Keywords: Perspectives, Traditional healers, Psychiatrists