Brua as an explanatory model for diseases
A 26-year-old woman from the island of Aruba who had been living in the Netherlands for ten years felt she was misunderstood by the various health professionals she had consulted because of her fear that she was being poisoned and would soon die. Due to her background en her belief in brua, she attributed her symptoms and her illness to ‘voodoo’, allegedly practiced by members of her husband’s family in connection with relationship problems. A culture-sensitive approach to the patient, along with thorough psychiatric and neurological tests, yielded a surprising result. Our findings emphasise how important it is for us as health professionals to acquaint ourselves with explanatory models of the diseases of our patients, and how vital it is for us to be aware of a patient’s background, particularly if the patient is of foreign descent.