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We explore the treatment-seeking behaviour of guardians of patients undergoing treatment for clubfoot at clinics run by the Malawi National Clubfoot Programme (MNCP). Core data was collected and analysed using qualitative methodologies of critical medical anthropology. Sixty detailed case studies were completed, each based on an extended open-ended interview with patient guardians. Two positive drivers in seeking treatment for clubfoot were identified: a desire to correct the impairment; and a direct instruction to do so, usually from a health-care professional. Four main barriers prevented treatment seeking: lack of knowledge about the condition and its treatment; familial resistance; logistical obstacles; and socio-economic pressures. In delivering effective health care, organizations should seek to minimize barriers and their impact, whilst maximizing drivers that lead to positive action.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Tropical doctor

Publication Date

10/2011

Volume

41

Pages

211 - 214

Addresses

School of Anthropology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX2 6PE, UK. julietbedford@anthrologica.com

Keywords

Humans, Clubfoot, Parents, Qualitative Research, Socioeconomic Factors, Adult, Child, Preschool, Patient Acceptance of Health Care, Malawi, Interviews as Topic