Balinese Traditional Beliefs and Epilepsy

Dewa Putu Gede Purwa Samatra

Dewa Putu Gede Purwa Samatra
Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine/Sanglah General Hospital, Udayana University, Bali, Indonesia. Email: putrirossyana@gmail.com
Online First: January 26, 2019 | Cite this Article
Samatra, D. 2019. Balinese Traditional Beliefs and Epilepsy. Bali Medical Journal 8(1): 255-258. DOI:10.15562/bmj.v8i1.1424

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore Balinese traditional healers perception related to knowledge, belief, and health practice of epilepsy and their influence to the epilepsy patients.

Material and Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out between 1st and 20th February 2018. Balinese traditional healers, who were Hindu, and had treated epilepsy patients were recruited and had an interview. Demographic characteristics of respondents were noted.

Results: A total of sixteen respondents consisted of eight Balinese traditional healers and eight epilepsy patients were enrolled. It was found 87.5% of respondents said epilepsy was combination of medical and spiritual illness. The abnormality of body temperature (n=5, 62.5%), hereditary disease (n=2, 25%), and blood disorders (n=1, 12.5%) were their knowledge about etiology of epilepsy. The traditional opinion about epilepsy was about ancestor’s sin (n=4, 50%) and black magic (n=4, 50%). The patients were also given vary herbal medication contained plants, oil, roots, fruits, holy water and showed both positive and negative effect to the patients. According to the patients, issues of religious belief, accessibility, affordability, and economy were the reason of coming to the Balinese traditional healers at first.

Conclusion: Traditional belief were assumed to have a great impact in health system among Balinese communities along with medical therapy. This traditional belief should be one of health practices consideration while taking care of epilepsy patient.

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