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October 2022

Soc Sci Med. 1986 ; 22(11): 1273-6.

Traditional and modern medicine in South Africa: a research study.

Edwards SD.

This paper examines the relationship between traditional and modern medicine with reference to an experimental research study conducted in South Africa, which focused on interviews by traditional Zulu healers and modern clinical psychologists with the same group of psychiatric patients. Results indicated that while traditional and modern practitioners worked from different theoretical orientations, they were in significant agreement as to both diagnosis and treatment of patients when faced with the same limited choice of options. Furthermore, patients perceived both traditional and modern practitioners as being more or less equally helpful. Results are compared with those of other studies. Local and international implications for the relationship between traditional and modern medicine are discussed.


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