Examination of the variables associated with traditional medicine use in the upper west region of Ghana
Background This study analyzes and explains the variables associated with traditional medicine (TM) use in the Upper West Region of Ghana using the Andersen model. Low- and middle- income countries (LMICs) are the most rapidly expanding in the world, leading to concerns about how population health profiles are changing. Scholars point to the general gap of research on TM use in LMICs as a challenge to understanding the population health needs of vulnerable groups in such settings.
Methods Survey data was collected from 1,214 respondents in the Upper West Region of Ghana on the use of traditional medicine as well as socio-economic, demographic, and geographic information of persons 18 years or older. These variables were categorized into either predisposing, enabling, or need factors according to the Andersen model and used to run descriptive statistics, bivariate analysis, and multivariate logistic regression.
Results Our findings show that 71.9% of respondents had not used TM in the last 6 months prior to the survey. Additionally, age, occupation, nearest health facility, and district were the most statistically significant predictors of traditional medicine use even when, gender, marital status, education, religion, health insurance, wealth quintile, household decisionmaker, self-rated health, and self-rated mental health were considered.
Conclusions The results revealed the significant relationship between predisposing factors, enabling factors, and TM use in the Upper West Region of Ghana. Interestingly, socio-economic, and structural deprivation was a greater predictor of TM use than perceived need.