Should traditional healing be integrated within the mental health services in Sámi areas of northern Norway? Patient views and related factors.Int J Circumpolar Health. 2009 Dec; 68(5):488-97.IJ
The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether including traditional healing methods within mental health services is desirable among users of these services in Sámi areas of northern Norway.
A cross-sectional questionnaire based survey among users of the mental health services in Finnmark and Nord-Troms Norway.
The percentages of participants desiring traditional healing modalities within the health services were calculated, and univariate and multivariate analysis were performed with respect to factors associated with a desire for integration.
A total of 186 users responded to the survey, of which 72 reported some degree of Sámi cultural affiliation. Forty-eight had Sámi-speaking grandparents on both sides of the family. The desire for the integration of traditional healing was high among all with a Sámi cultural background. Eighty-one percent of those with Sámi speaking grandparents on both sides of the family desired such an integration. In a regression analysis, both Sámi affiliation and having used traditional healing forms were significantly associated with a desire for the integration of traditional healing within mental health services.
The integration of traditional healing methods within health services has been suggested both by the World Health Organization and is used in some of the services to Indigenous populations in Western countries. This study shows that such integration is desirable among Sámi users of mental health services in Norway.