Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Slovenian Journal of Public Health

The Journal of National Institute of Public Health

4 Issues per year


IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.429

CiteScore 2016: 0.26

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.177
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.222

Open Access
Online
ISSN
1854-2476
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 50, Issue 3 (Jan 2011)

Issues

Health beliefs and practices among Slovenian Roma and their response to febrile illnesses: a qualitative study

Danica Pavlič
  • Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Poljanski nasip 58, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Erika Zelko
  • Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, University of Maribor, Slomškov trg 15, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Janko Kersnik
  • Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Poljanski nasip 58, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Faculty of Medicine, Department of Family Medicine, University of Maribor, Slomškov trg 15, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Verica Lolić
Published Online: 2011-07-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10152-010-0041-6

Health beliefs and practices among Slovenian Roma and their response to febrile illnesses: a qualitative study

Introduction: When the Roma fell ill in the past, they used herbal home remedies to treat diseases. If the remedy failed to cure the illness, they called the local healer. Today, most Roma visit physicians. This study investigates health beliefs and practices held by the Roma people in Slovenia and their response to febrile illnesses.

Methods: Field interviews using a semi-structured questionnaire were conducted in the vicinity of Kočevje. Sociodemographic data were gathered and recorded manually, and the interviews were tape recorded. Qualitative analysis was performed by three researchers. Special attention was paid to data validation.

Results: The majority of Roma are not acquainted with thermometers and therefore do not use them. About one-third of the interviewees knew what the normal body temperature should be. Only 15% of the Roma population take their body temperature when they are feeling unwell. One-half visit their physicians. More than half of the population take paracetamol or aspirin when they feel feverish. More often, they resort to tea and emphasize the healing effect of sweating.

Conclusion: The Roma beliefs and practices regarding health and fever are instructive and show how impoverished a narrow biomedical approach can be. Failure to use technical devices, such as thermometers, and lack of familiarity with the numerical values defining the border between normal and elevated body temperature, nonetheless do not mean that the Roma take inappropriate measures in response to illness. Illnesses (including fever) can also be recognized without these tools and can be appropriately responded to by drinking teas, using compresses, and taking fever-reducing medications.

Stališča in Ravnanje Romov v Sloveniji v Zvezi z Vročinskimi Stanji: Kvalitativna Študija

Uvod: V preteklosti so Romi za zdravljenje uporabljali domače zeliščne pripravke. Kadar ta zdravila niso bila učinkovita, so poklicali lokalnega zdravilca. Danes večina Romov obišče zdravnika. V prispevku ugotavljamo, kakšno je prepričanje in ravnanje slovenskih Romov v zvezi z zdravjem in kako ukrepajo pri vročinskih stanjih.

Metode: V okolici Kočevja smo na terenu izvedli intervjuje na osnovi polstrukturiranih vprašalnikov. Zbrane sociodemografske podatke smo ročno zapisovali, pogovore pa smo posneli. Kvalitativno analizo podatkov so izvedli trije raziskovalci. Posebno pozornost smo namenili validaciji podatkov.

Rezultati: Večina Romov ne pozna termometra in ga zato tudi ne uporablja. Približno ena tretjina vprašanih je vedela, kakšna naj bi bila normalna telesna temperatura. Ob slabem počutju si le 15 odstotkov romskega prebivalstva meri telesno temperaturo. Polovica jih obišče zdravnika. Več kot polovica romskih prebivalcev vzame paracetamol ali aspirin, kadar ima vročino. Pogosteje se zatečejo k pitju čaja in poudarjajo zdravilne učinke potenja.

Zaključek: Prepričanja in ravnanje Romov v zvezi z zdravjem in povišano telesno temperaturo so poučna in nam kažejo, kako osiromašen je lahko ozko usmerjeni biomedicinski pristop. Dejstvo, da Romi ne uporabljajo tehničnih pripomočkov, npr. termometra, in ne poznajo številčne vrednosti, ki loči med normalno in povišano telesno temperaturo, še ne pomeni, da ob bolezni ravnajo neustrezno. Bolezenska stanja, tudi povišano telesno temperaturo, lahko prepoznamo tudi brez teh orodij in se jim ustrezno postavimo po robu s pitjem čaja, z uporabo obkladkov in z jemanjem zdravil proti vročini.

Keywords: Roma; illness; thermometer; fever; activity; doctor

Keywords: Romi; bolezni; termometer; povišana telesna temperatura; aktivnosti; zdravljenje

  • Fraser A. The Gypsies. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1992.Google Scholar

  • McKee M. The health of gypsies. BMJ 1997; 315: 1172-3.Google Scholar

  • Fabrega H. The study of disease in relation to culture. Behav Sci 1972; 17: 183-203.Google Scholar

  • Kleinman A, Eisenberg L, Good B. Culture, illness, and care: clinical lessons from anthropologic and cross-cultural research. Ann Intern Med 1978; 88: 251-8.Google Scholar

  • Koupilová I, Epstein H, Holcík J, Hajioff S, McKee M. Health needs of the Roma population in the Czech and Slovak republics. Soc Sci Med 2001; 53: 1191-1204.Google Scholar

  • Minority protection of Slovenia, monitoring the EU accession process: minority protection, an assessment of special policies in candidate states. Budapest: Open Society Institute, 2002: 622.Google Scholar

  • Avcin M. Gypsy isolates in Slovenia. J Biosoc Sci 1969; 1: 221-3.Google Scholar

  • Republic of Slovenia Office of Statistics, 2002 Census. Available at: http://www.stat.si/popis2002/si/rezultati_slovenija_prebivalstvo_dz.htm

  • Žagar M, Komac M, Medvešek M, Bešter R. The aspect of culture in the social inclusion of ethnic minorities. MEU Programme, Minorities in the EU. Ljubljana: The Institute for Ethnic Studies, 2006Google Scholar

  • Štrukelj P. Etnološke raziskave romske populacije v republiki Sloveniji. Revija za narodnostna vprašanja. Romi na slovenskem, razprave in gradivo. Ljubljana, 1991.Google Scholar

  • Skoberne P. Sto naravnih znamenitosti Slovenije. Ljubljana: Prešernova družba, 1988.Google Scholar

  • Robič I. Kriminaliteta Romov na Kočevskem: undergraduate thesis. University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Education, Social Education Department, 1997.Google Scholar

  • Zadravec J. Zdravstvena kultura Romov v Prekmurju. Murska Sobota: Pomurska založba, 1989.Google Scholar

  • Rifel J, Car J. Učinkovito sporazumevanje v medkulturnih srečanjih med bolnikom in zdravnikom. In: Kersnik J (ed.). Družinska medicina na stičišču kultur, (PiP Series) Združenje zdravnikov družinske medicine, Ljubljana, 2004: 39-43.Google Scholar

  • Britten N. Qualitative interviews in medical research. Brit Med 1995; 311: 251-3.Google Scholar

  • Hajioff S, McKee M. The health of the Roma people: a review of the published literature. J Epidemiol Community Health 2000; 54: 864-9.Google Scholar

  • Bobak M, Dejmek J, Solansky I, Sram JR. Unfavourable birth outcomes of the Roma women in the Czech Republic and the potential explanations: a population-based study. BMC Public Health 2005; 5: 106-112.Google Scholar

  • Helman CG. "Feed a cold, starve a fever"—folk models of infection in an English suburban community, and their relation to medical treatment. Cult Med Psychiatry 1978; 2: 107-37.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Carrillo JE, Green AR, Betancourt JR. Cross-cultural primary care: a patient-based approach. Ann Intern Med 1999; 130: 829-34.Google Scholar

  • Helman CG. Disease versus illness in general practice. J R Coll Gen Pract 1981; 31: 548-552.Google Scholar

About the article


Published Online: 2011-07-11

Published in Print: 2011-01-01


Citation Information: Slovenian Journal of Public Health, ISSN (Online) 1854-2476, ISSN (Print) 0351-0026, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10152-010-0041-6.

Export Citation

This content is open access.

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in