Superstitions regarding health problems in different ethnic groups in Karachi.

S. S. Bukhari, A. Pardhan, A. S. Khan, A. Ahmed, F. J. Choudry, K. Pardhan, K. Nayeem, M. Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To find out the superstitions regarding health problems in different ethnic groups, their implications over the socio-economic development of that group and to what extent can those superstitions be related to their level of literacy. METHODS: The study was a questionnaire-based survey, 20 subjects from each ethnic group were selected by cluster sampling of residential areas where that particular group has its highest concentration, making a total of 100 subjects. RESULTS: It was found that most people (73%) do have some superstitious beliefs. Fifty percent of people believe in them as a part of culture and tradition, another 25% got them from their elders. No significant difference was found between different racial groups (p value = 0.9). According to literacy rate, 73.5% of literate community and 94.1% illiterate community were found to have superstitions. The occupation of the breadwinner of family didn't have a significant impact over the belief in superstitions (p value = 0.6). CONCLUSION: Majority of our population believes in superstitions, which are more common in illiterates. These superstitions not only predict health seeking behaviour of a person but also play a major role in shaping the response of a community to any health intervention program. Without the knowledge of these superstitions, effective community participation cannot be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-387
Number of pages5
JournalJPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2002
Externally publishedYes


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