Illness behaviour in Sri Lanka: Results of a survey in two Sinhalese communities

  • Wolffers I
  • 34

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 14

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Although cosmopolitan medicine plays an increasingly important role in developing countries, people still use indigenous medicines. A 1983 survey in two Sinhalese communities in Sri Lanka investigated the patients' use of cosmopolitan or traditional treatments for various illnesses. It appears that for acute complaints, or when a child seems seriously ill, people use cosmopolitan medicine. For common ailments which are known to be self-limiting, people use traditional home remedies and consult Ayurvedic practitioners. In chronic complaints some patients use cosmopolitan medicine, while others prefer the Ayurvedic system or use both kinds of medicine. For a 'snakebite' or a 'fracture' people prefer the local specialists and for mental illnesses they consult the adura and Buddhist clerguy; as a last resort they turn to the cosmopolitan facility. Ayurvedic medicine does not play a role of any importance in the treatment of mental disease. The aduras in the rural areas and the Buddhist monks and priests in the more urban areas have a clear function in the management of mental disease. Institutionally trained Ayurvedic practitioners have a less clear function, since they often dispense cosmopolitan medicines. © 1988.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Buddhism
  • medical pluralism
  • therapy-patterns

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Ivan Wolffers

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free