Yalda Ravanshad; Mohadese Golsorkhi; Sahar Ravanshad; Zahra sadat Mohajeri; Anoush Azarfar
Introduction: Nowadays, fake doctors, known as “Bandis” in our country Iran, represent themselves as traditional healers and use superstitious ideas for the healing of the ill, especially children. Their activities do not comply with any scientific methods. No research has been focused on ...
Introduction: Nowadays, fake doctors, known as “Bandis” in our country Iran, represent themselves as traditional healers and use superstitious ideas for the healing of the ill, especially children. Their activities do not comply with any scientific methods. No research has been focused on this issue. The present study aimed to evaluate the education and social levels of the patients and their reasons for referring to these quackeries.Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 1,300 children who were managed in the pediatric clinics of Dr. Sheikh Hospital for children, which is a tertiary care center in Mashhad, Iran. Informed consent was obtained from the guardians and patients. Upon examination, the parents of the children were asked to complete a checklist for data collection. Data analysis was performed in SPSS version 16, and the P-value of less than 0.05 was considered statistically significant.Results: In total, 1,300 children (621 females and 679 male) aged 2.5-12 years (mean age: 5.3±2.9 years) were enrolled in the study. Among the guardians, 62.5% were familiar with traditional healers, and 457 (37.2%) of the respondents had visited these individuals at least once. In addition, 106 of these cases had visited traditional healers more than three times. The parents were enquired about the reasons for visiting traditional healers instead of physicians, and 46.7% believed the applied methods by these individuals to be more effective. Moreover, 3.1% mentioned the lower treatment costs compared to physician visits, 2.9% reported the acute diseases of their children that did not respond to medical treatments, and 47.3% acknowledged those methods as real traditional practices.Conclusion: According to the results traditional healers, are a major public health concern. For unjustified reasons, many people prefer their methods to conventional medicine. Therefore, healthcare authorities must raise public awareness in this regarding through systematic plans in order to prevent future complications.