Women’s experiences with epilepsy treatment in southern India: A focused ethnography

Jane R. von Gaudecker, Ann Gill Taylor, Janice Buelow, Sailas Benjamin, Claire Draucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Women with epilepsy in rural southern India often do not receive anti-epilepsy drugs (AEDs) or take these drugs regularly, but little is known about how they experience the epilepsy treatment they do receive. The purpose of this study was to provide an in-depth description of the treatment experiences of women in this region who had been diagnosed with epilepsy but who do not consistently take AEDs. Focused ethnography was conducted using participant observation and in-depth interviews with six women with epilepsy, eight of their family members, and two traditional healers. The women’s treatment experiences are best described as living at the intersection of Western allopathic (“English”) medicine and traditional healing practices—approaches that could be complementary or conflicting. The women revealed a variety of perceived barriers to the use of “English” medicine. Health care professionals should appreciate the dynamic interplay of the two treatment approaches and consider all cultural, social, and economic factors that influence the women’s treatment experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3
Pages (from-to)1034-1051
Number of pages18
JournalQualitative Report
Volume24
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Cultural Anthropology
epilepsy
ethnography
India
Epilepsy
experience
drug
Therapeutics
medicine
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Traditional Medicine
cultural factors
participant observation
economic factors
social factors
family member
Economics
Observation
Medicine
Interviews

Keywords

  • Barriers to treatment
  • Epilepsy treatment gap
  • Ethnography
  • Indigenous health care
  • South India
  • Treatment decision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education

Cite this

von Gaudecker, J. R., Taylor, A. G., Buelow, J., Benjamin, S., & Draucker, C. (2019). Women’s experiences with epilepsy treatment in southern India: A focused ethnography. Qualitative Report, 24(5), 1034-1051. [3].

Women’s experiences with epilepsy treatment in southern India : A focused ethnography. / von Gaudecker, Jane R.; Taylor, Ann Gill; Buelow, Janice; Benjamin, Sailas; Draucker, Claire.

In: Qualitative Report, Vol. 24, No. 5, 3, 01.05.2019, p. 1034-1051.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

von Gaudecker, JR, Taylor, AG, Buelow, J, Benjamin, S & Draucker, C 2019, 'Women’s experiences with epilepsy treatment in southern India: A focused ethnography', Qualitative Report, vol. 24, no. 5, 3, pp. 1034-1051.
von Gaudecker JR, Taylor AG, Buelow J, Benjamin S, Draucker C. Women’s experiences with epilepsy treatment in southern India: A focused ethnography. Qualitative Report. 2019 May 1;24(5):1034-1051. 3.
von Gaudecker, Jane R. ; Taylor, Ann Gill ; Buelow, Janice ; Benjamin, Sailas ; Draucker, Claire. / Women’s experiences with epilepsy treatment in southern India : A focused ethnography. In: Qualitative Report. 2019 ; Vol. 24, No. 5. pp. 1034-1051.
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