"It Is Not Easy": Cultural Influences of Sickle Cell Disease Management in Rural, Eastern Sierra Leone.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a chronic genetic disease that causes life-threatening complications and requires robust comprehensive management. Developing comprehensive SCD programs in sub-Saharan African countries requires knowledge of the cultural factors affecting health-seeking behavior. We utilized an ethnographic approach and the frameworks of Dutta and Habermas to explore cultural factors influencing SCD management in rural Sierra Leone. A purposive sample of 27 individuals with SCD and their family and professional caregivers were observed and interviewed from March 2019 to April 2019. We identified four domains (Cultural Beliefs, Cultural Values, Cultural Practices, and Dealing with SCD) of cultural influences on SCD management, and 12 sub-themes (related to collectivism; spiritual, traditional, and Western beliefs and practices; and lived experiences) that reflect the personal, social, structural, and contextual complexities of SCD management. Further research regarding roles of traditional and spiritual leaders, combinations of Western and traditional practices, and culturally centered interventions is warranted.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ibemere, SO; Shambley-Ebron, DZ; Tanabe, P; Jaja, C

Published Date

  • July 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 31 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1459 - 1471

PubMed ID

  • 34018867

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1049-7323

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/10497323211006384


  • eng