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Scandinavian Journal of Pain

Official Journal of the Scandinavian Association for the Study of Pain

Editor-in-Chief: Breivik, Harald

4 Issues per year

CiteScore 2017: 0.84

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.401
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.452

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Volume 4, Issue 4

Pain treatment in rural Ghana—A qualitative study

Desmond Ayim-Aboagye / Torsten Gordh
Published Online: 2013-10-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjpain.2013.07.005



We investigated how treatment of pain was functioning among a rural population in African context.


The investigation employed the observation approach and in-depth interview approach in a rural population of about 5000 inhabitants. However, at the zenith of the study 10 patients were selected for the in-depth interview, having serious conditions, which had rendered them immobile, received a major focus in the study. With qualitative methods, we were capable of procuring rich information through narratives.


The patients employ both biomedical practitioners and traditional practitioners in the culture who have potent knowledge of culture specific disabilities. Even when patients had received satisfactory treatments leading to pain relief from the former practitioners, they still cherish some psychological pain, which demand that they consult other practitioners in the culture for further treatments. Those that only receive help from the mainstream hospitals or speciality clinics show improvement, but usually assailed by fear and excessive worry that their pains will not disappear entirely. While the younger generation patients are reluctant to reveal these consultations with traditional practitioners openly, the older group felt more positive about it and brag of having endured their ordeal because of these consultations with those who could offer them additional protection.


The employment of different practitioners’ treatments alleviated these patients’ pain disabilities and psychological symptoms, which were that of pain relief, psychological pain, and death fear. Traditional treatment of pain has a social function, and therefore must be given attention to and recognition by biomedical-trained doctors.

About the article

Published Online: 2013-10-01

Published in Print: 2013-10-01

Citation Information: Scandinavian Journal of Pain, Volume 4, Issue 4, Pages 256–256, ISSN (Online) 1877-8879, ISSN (Print) 1877-8860, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjpain.2013.07.005.

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