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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 157-61

A cost comparison of traditional and orthodox mental health care

Department of Behavioural Sciences, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
A B Makanjuola
Department of Behavioural Sciences, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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This study examines whether cost is a factor in determining the choice of therapy in patients with mental illness. The focus therefore is to compare the cost of therapy (and not scientific basis or efficacy of treatment), in the short term, of traditional with orthodox mental health care. Sixty patients comprising 23 and 28 patients receiving therapies at orthodox and traditional psychiatric facilities respectively were interviewed. Information was obtained in the areas of sociodemographic data, duration of illness before presentation, duration of therapy, costs of consultation, medication, accommodation and feeding among others. It was found that traditional mental health care, in the short run, was three times more expensive than orthodox mental health care. Future health campaign programs should emphasize the fact that traditional mental health care is not just less effective, but costlier than orthodox mental health care. This might further discourage people from patronizing traditional mental health practitioners.

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