Opinion and Usage Regarding Complementary and Alternative Therapies among Patients at a Tertiary Care Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan
Keywords:Complementary therapies, health knowledge, attitudes, practice, Pakistan
Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies are widely used among the population in Pakistan either separately or in conjunction with convention medical therapies. CAM therapies are used for varying reasons and result in complications as conventional treatment is often delayed resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. Objective of the study was to assess the opinions and usage regarding CAM therapies among patients in a tertiary care setup.
Methods: Cross sectional study was conducted at Fatima Memorial Hospital, Lahore from April 2018 to June 2018. Sample size was calculated to be 186 which were equally divided between patients in OPD, ER and IPD. A structured questionnaire was administered. SPSS 20 was used for analysis.
Results: In this study 112(60.2%) patients had used CAM for an illness whereas 74(39.8%) had never used CAM therapy. Most of the patients 165(88.7%) were able to differentiate between CAM and conventional therapies. Most frequent source of knowledge cited was family and friends 139(74.7%), previous users of CAM 83(44.6%) and media/internet 69(37.1%). Spiritual Healers (Pirs) were the most used modality of CAM at 64(34.4%) followed by hakeem and homeopathy. Most common reasons for using CAM were advice from family and friends, personal will and religious/spiritual reasons.
Conclusion: Use of CAM therapies is widely prevalent in our study with more than half the respondents having used a modality of CAM. Users of CAM were found to be generally satisfied with the treatment.
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