Determinants of utilization of traditional bone setters in Ilorin, North Central Nigeria


Background. Traditional bone setting (TBS) practice is an important part of health care delivery in many developing coun- tries and has been in Nigeria for long. Despite the complications that arise from the cultural practice, TBS services is still in high demand by a significant number of people. This study was con- ducted to determine the factors that influence the utilization of TBS practice. Methods. A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out using a semi structured questionnaire to gather information from 400 randomly selected residents of Ilorin West LGA in north cen- tral Nigeria. Multistage sampling technique was used in selecting the respondents. Results. The respondents were between the ages of 18-72 years with a mean age of 36.3 ± 12.3. Three hundred and three (77.3%) of the respondents know of TBS practice as a way of getting treat- ment for bone injuries. More than two third 210 (69.3%) of the respondents who know TBS practice as a form of treatment for bone injuries think that TBS therapy is preferable to Orthodox medicine in handling bone injuries. Reasons for preference are that it is cheap 134 (63.8%), acceptable 123 (58.6%) and accessible 109 (51.9%) to them. More than half (52.3%) of the respond- ents had patronized TBS treatment at one time or the other. Main reason for patronage of TBS was influence from family mem- bers and friends (53.6%). However, factors that influence the respondents decision to utilize TBS treatment include attitude of health workers 310 (77.5%), delay in hospitals 284(71.0%) fear of amputation 272 (54.35) and fear of operation 217(54.3%) in hospitals. There was a statistically significant (p inf. 0.05) relation- ship between respondents age, sex, marital status, occupation, ethnicity as well as the income level of the respondents and the utilization of TBS. Conclusions. Utilisation of TBS is quite popular among the stud- ied population because it is believed to be cheap, acceptable and accessible to them and a high proportion of the respondents uti- lize TBS notwithstanding that they live in a community where they have better access to orthodox medical care. Influence from fam- ily and friends is the main reason for consulting TBS. Regulations should be made concerning the advertisement of TBS practice by relevant agencies and the public should be made aware through health education on the dangers of TBS treatment.