The Use of Folk Healing and Healers by Six Latinos Living in New England: A Preliminary Study

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The purpose of this qualitative study is to describe Latinos' use of folk medicine and the values associated with it in the context of mainstream health care. The research questions focused on the meaning of folk medicine in the Latino culture and how participants made decisions regarding the use of folk medicine or modern biomedicine. Interviews were conducted with six Latinos living in a New England city who had used folk medicine. Three themes were identified: being sick, healers and healing, and faith and believing. The participants in this study valued their cultural folk medicine and folk healers. However, none relied exclusively on folk medicine. All used mainstream health care providers for specific purposes. A major reason for not using mainstream health care providers more frequently was the perceived lack of holistic care and the use of medicines that are not natural.

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