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LAY PROTOTYPES OF ILLNESS AMONG A NORTHERN SOTHO COMMUNITY IN SOUTH AFRICA

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Abstract:

Illness representations have been shown to differ across cultures. The aim of the study was to study disease terminology and lay prototypes among a Northern Sotho community in South Africa. The sample for a free listing of disease terms included 41 (55%) women and 34 (45%) men, with a mean age of 36 years (SD=5.6, range 18 to 75 years). The sample for pile sorting of disease terms included 80 Northern Sotho-speaking third-year students from the University of Limpopo; 44 women, 36 men, mean age, 23.4 years (SD=3.4). From free listing of disease terms 50 were selected for pile sorting. Using hierarchical cluster analysis the following clusters could be identified: (1) respiratory problems, (2) internal body problems and sexually transmitted diseases, (3) chronic diseases and head diseases, (4) child diseases and mental problems, (5) child diseases and cancer, (6) feet problems, (7) gastrointestinal diseases. There was homogeneity of features within cluster and difference between clusters.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2006.34.6.701

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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