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Understanding the cultural meanings of stroke in the Ghanaian setting: A qualitative study exploring the perspectives of local community residents [version 1; referees: 2 approved with reservations]

Sanuade, O; (2018) Understanding the cultural meanings of stroke in the Ghanaian setting: A qualitative study exploring the perspectives of local community residents [version 1; referees: 2 approved with reservations]. Wellcome Open Research , 3 , Article 87. 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.14674.1. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Stroke has undergone different medical constructions over the years. While the medical profession posits that disease is a biological condition, universal and unchanging, social constructionists perceive illness as the social meaning of the biological condition. Even though the medical notion of stroke is monolithic and sometimes contradicts the representations by local community residents, little attention has been paid to understanding the cultural meanings of stroke. This study explores the cultural meanings of stroke in five different cultural settings in Ghana. // Methods: 30 focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with local community members in five communities (Ga Mashie, Tafo, Gyegyeano, Chanshegu and Agorve) located in five regions in Ghana. The FGDs were conducted in Ga, Twi, Fante, Ewe and Dagbani, and were transcribed verbatim into English. The transcripts were analysed thematically. // Results: The local words used for stroke in all the five cultural settings focused on physical disability associated with stroke after its onset, and this formed the dominant source of fear about the condition. Participants mentioned that spiritual and left-side stroke have the most debilitating impact on the sufferer. Although there was a general consensus that anyone can be at risk of stroke, there was a gender dynamics in the explanation of risk relativity. Participants believed that stroke can be cured through early detection and treatment, use of herbal medicines, and availability of financial resources. Compared to other disabling conditions, the community residents perceived stroke to be more severe due to its multifaceted disabilities. // Conclusions: This study showed that the social meanings of stroke in the five communities are multifaceted, and reflected co-existence of biomedical and cultural frameworks. The findings showed the need to pay good attention to the sociocultural context when developing interventions strategies on stroke prevention and control.

Type: Article
Title: Understanding the cultural meanings of stroke in the Ghanaian setting: A qualitative study exploring the perspectives of local community residents [version 1; referees: 2 approved with reservations]
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.12688/wellcomeopenres.14674.1
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.14674.1
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 Sanuade O. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: stroke, social meanings, cultural meanings, community, Ghana
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10055091
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