Susto, a folk illness not recognized by biomedical practitioners as a disease, is now formally part of the diagnostic classification system in psychiatry as a "culturebound syndrome." Susto has been reported among diverse groups of Latin Americans, but most of those reports are several decades old and many were conducted in Indian communities. This study focuses on contemporary descriptions of susto and uses a cross-cultural, comparative design to describe susto in three diverse .Latino populations. Mestizo/ladino populations were interviewed in Guatemala, Mexico, and south Texas. An initial set of open-ended interviews was conducted with a sample of "key" informants at each site to obtain descriptive information about susto. A structured interview protocol was developed for use at all three sites, incorporating information from those initial interviews. A second set of structured interviews was then conducted with a representative sample at each site. Results indicate a good deal of consistency in reports of what susto is: what causes it, its symptoms, and how to treat it. There appear to be, however, some notable regional variations in treatments and a difference between past descriptions and contemporary reports of etiology.
- Cross-cultural comparison
- Folk illness
- Latin American illness concepts
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health