AA  Vol.12 No.2 , May 2022
Cultural Adaptation Practices in Health Seeking Behaviour by Caregivers of Mentally Ill Patients in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya
Abstract: For the mentally ill, cultural prescriptions and proscriptions play a major role in their caregiver’s health-seeking behaviour. Most ill patients seek treatment in hospital setting but still, culturally adaptive options are left open for further exploration. This study sought to determine cultural adaptation intervention in health seeking behaviour by caregivers of people with mental illness in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya. The study adopted the concurrent mixed methods design that integrated both the qualitative and quantitative approaches. The study was anchored on the constructivism theory and the health-seeking behaviour theory. The target population was caregivers of people with mental illness drawn from Uasin Gishu County and health care service providers in the mental unit of the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH). A sample of 487 caregivers of people with mental illness was selected purposively, while a census was conducted to identify 18 health care providers. Structured questionnaires and focus group discussions were used to gather data from caregivers. Data from healthcare providers were collected using interviews. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, while qualitative data were analyzed thematically. However, cultural adaptation intervention positively and significantly affected health-seeking behaviour (b = 0.452, p < 0.05). The study revealed that negative constructions of mental illness have enhanced the use of adaptive cultural interventions among caregivers. This study contributes to the existing discourse on mental illness by leveraging the cultural role in health-seeking behaviour. The study recommends that caregivers of people with mental illness seek to exploit cultural adaptive factors to intervene in the relationships involving mental illness.
Cite this paper: Ombok, C. , Kareithi, J. and Wandere, D. (2022) Cultural Adaptation Practices in Health Seeking Behaviour by Caregivers of Mentally Ill Patients in Uasin Gishu County, Kenya. Advances in Anthropology, 12, 53-71. doi: 10.4236/aa.2022.122005.

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