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PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013 Sep 12;7(9):e2410. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002410. eCollection 2013.

Socio-cultural aspects of Chagas disease: a systematic review of qualitative research.

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1
Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB, Hospital Clínic, Universitat de Barcelona), Barcelona, Spain.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Globally, more than 10 million people are infected with Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes about 20 000 annual deaths. Although Chagas disease is endemic to certain regions of Latin America, migratory flows have enabled its expansion into areas where it was previously unknown. Economic, social and cultural factors play a significant role in its presence and perpetuation. This systematic review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of qualitative research on Chagas disease, both in endemic and non-endemic countries.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Searches were carried out in ten databases, and the bibliographies of retrieved studies were examined. Data from thirty-three identified studies were extracted, and findings were analyzed and synthesized along key themes. Themes identified for endemic countries included: socio-structural determinants of Chagas disease; health practices; biomedical conceptions of Chagas disease; patient's experience; and institutional strategies adopted. Concerning non-endemic countries, identified issues related to access to health services and health seeking.

CONCLUSIONS:

The emergence and perpetuation of Chagas disease depends largely on socio-cultural aspects influencing health. As most interventions do not address the clinical, environmental, social and cultural aspects jointly, an explicitly multidimensional approach, incorporating the experiences of those affected is a potential tool for the development of long-term successful programs. Further research is needed to evaluate this approach.

PMID:
24069473
PMCID:
PMC3772024
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pntd.0002410
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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