Skip to main content

Therapy choice, utilization and satisfaction in Kinshasa


A medical-psychiatric, sociological and anthropological
action-research in Kinshasa, zaire, about therapy management by health seekers in a context of severe socio-economic crisis and general breakdown of the state institutions. From Sept.94, the three-year programme will associate 1) CERDAS and the University mental hospital at Kinshasa; 2) RIAGG (Academic Regional Institution for out-patient Mental Health Care), in affiliation with IPSER, both at Maastricht (Netherlands), and 3) the centre for Anthropology at the University of Leuven (Belgium).
The focus is on interconnecting and improving various health care providing institutions in Kinshasa, namely of traditional healers, healing churches, and medical-psychiatric healthcare. Regarding two related, cultural idioms of distress (namely the 'illnesses of openness' versus 'of closure,' the aim is to
- acquire insight in the changes / variations in the patients' therapy management;
- investigate the (group) psychodynamic processes in the various forms of treatment and coping;
- develop a research-based model of community healthcare which at a local level aims (i) at connecting the different healthcare providing institutions (medical, traditional, and faith healing); (ii) at evaluating the impact of these interventions on the illnesses/health seeking careers, as well as (iii) at integrating the health-promoting capacities and activities of the non-professional persons (the so-called therapy managing group of patient, family, community network).
The research results will (i) be instructive regarding comparable forms of therapy management in a great many other urban centres in West-Africa; (ii) inspire (community) health policy. . The existing CERDAS research institute will offer a pilot and lntersectorial forum for training and monitoring sanitary action (-research) regarding cultural idioms of distress. and for monitoring a cooperation between medical healthcare and'(faith) healing.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
3000 Leuven

Participants (2)

Regionale Instelling Ambulante Geestelijke Gezondheidszorg Maastricht
6221 BD Maastricht
Université de Kinshasa