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Ann Med Health Sci Res. 2013 Apr;3(2):215-9. doi: 10.4103/2141-9248.113665.

Self-Reported Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine among the Health Care Consumers at a Tertiary Care Center in Ajman, United Arab Emirates.

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  • 1Department of Community Medicine, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, UAE.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) covers a wide range of approaches, including herbal medicine, manual healing techniques, traditional therapies and mind-body interventions. CAM is widely used throughout the world to treat a variety of illnesses and to maintain health.

AIM:

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is popular across the world, and is widely practiced. Utilization pattern and reasons for use and non-use among patients attending a tertiary care center are assessed in this study.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

One hundred and thirty-five patients of different nationalities, above the age of 18 years, Gulf Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Ajman, UAE, were interviewed using an open-ended structured questionnaire. In addition to socio-demographic characteristics, the acceptability, utilization pattern and reasons for use and non-use were elicited from the participants after obtaining consent from them. PASW 18 version was used to perform Chi-square test and descriptive statistics.

RESULTS:

Among the 135 participants were 20-81 years old, those from the Far East used most 85.7% (6/7), then Pakistan 38.5% (15/39) and India 23% (16/70). The most common system used was homeopathy. Physicians advised 28.2% (11/39) of users, whereas others used non-medical information. Around 71.8% (28/39) reported good outcome for themselves and family; however, only 10% (4/39) recommended it to others. Most of the users, 75% (101/135), were not sure whether CAM was based on scientific evidence, while 18% (24/135) felt it was. Good previous experience and less treatment complications were the most common reasons for using CAM and non-use due to lack of knowledge or need.

CONCLUSION:

About one-third of the seekers of modern medicine care also use CAM, and mostly without physician advice; hence, the importance of discussing the same while taking the clinical history. In view of the belief that CAM has fewer side-effects, there is even more need for physician-initiated discussion.

KEYWORDS:

Alternative medicine; Complimentary medicine; Health care consumers; Utilization pattern

PMID:
23919193
PMCID:
PMC3728866
DOI:
10.4103/2141-9248.113665
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