Relationship between health insurance status and the pattern of traditional medicine utilisation in Ghana
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
This paper examines the relationship between national health insurance status and the pattern of traditional medicine (TRM) use among the general population in Ghana. A retrospective cross-sectional survey of randomly sampled adults, aged ≥18 years (𝑁 = 324), was conducted. The results indicate that TRM use was high with prevalence of over 86%. The study found no statistically significant association between national health insurance status and TRM utilisation (𝑃 > 0.05). Paradoxically, major sources of TRM, frequency of TRM use, comedical administration, and disclosure of TRM use to health care professionals differed significantly between the insured and uninsured subgroups (𝑃 < 0.001). Whereas effectiveness of TRM predicted its use for both insured [odds ratio (OR) = 4.374 (confidence interval (CI): 1.753–10.913; 𝑃 = 0.002)] and uninsured [OR = 3.383 CI: 0.869–13.170; 𝑃 = 0.039)], work experience predicted TRM use for the insured [OR = 1.528 (95% CI: 1.309–1.900; 𝑃 = 0.019)]. Cultural specific variables and health philosophies rather than health insurance status may influence health care-seeking behaviour and TRM use. The enrollment of herbal-based therapies on the national health insurance medicine plan is exigent to ensure monitoring and rational use of TRM towards intercultural health care system in Ghana.
Funding for this study was provided by the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (COSEDRIA) (Ref. SGRT.46/T12) and the Institute for Research in Africa & the French Embassy in Ghana Grant Programme (Grant no. IFRA-Nigeria/2012) through their Small Grants for Thesis Writing Programmes.
Copyright © 2015 Razak Mohammed Gyasi.
Gyasi, R. M. (2015). Relationship between health insurance status and the pattern of traditional medicine utilisation in Ghana. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2015, 1-10. doi:10.1155/2015/717926