USAGE ASSESSMENT OF COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IN SAUDI DIABETIC PATIENTSAbstract
Complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs), particularly herbal medicines (HMs), are popular with diabetic patients and are often used alongside conventional treatments. In such cases, patients usually do not advise their doctor or any other healthcare professional, so inappropriate use and potential interactions between CAM therapies and conventional treatments are serious concerns. This study attempted to identify the main factors affecting CAM decision-making by studying the association between CAM use and patient characteristics, including age, gender, diagnosis, reasons for using, time of starting, and sources of HM products. It was aimed to shed light on patients’ experiences and perceptions of CAM use, particularly HMs, to identify any perceived benefit or harm. Cross-sectional questionnaire surveys, including open-ended and closed-ended questions, which were administered to eligible participants. The results revealed that approximately 34% of the 98 patients participating in the study used CAM. The most prevalent age group of participants was 51-60 years old (39.8%). The most used HMs were the olive leaf (21.2%), green tea (21.2%), cinnamon (21.2%), black seeds (15.2%), and fenugreek (15.2%). Herbal shops (69.7%) were the most popular place for obtaining herbal medicines and dietary supplements. Based on the patients’ perceptions, 73% of CAM users experienced benefits during their CAM use, and no patient experienced any harm. Further explorations are needed to confirm our findings and identify any more associations between CAM use and diabetic patient characteristics. One thing appears to be certain: HMs use is increasing, and diabetics will continue to take them. Therefore, we need to provide them with sensible advice about their effects, including their use in combination with conventional drugs.
S. M. Alsanad
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University (IMSIU), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
05 December 2019
21 January 2020
06 February 2020
01 April 2020