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The use of complementary and alternative medicine by asthma patients receiving care in an urban tertiary centre in nigeria.

Int J Biol Med Res. 2011; 2(4): 1026 – 1030  |  PDF File


ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION: There is increasing use of Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by individuals with chronic illness. Data on prevalence of CAM utilisation by asthmatics are however limited as well as the pattern of its use particularly in Nigeria. The study was to determine the frequency and pattern of use of CAM among patients with bronchial asthma attending a specialist asthma clinic, as well as describe the socio-demographic and other factors associated with its use. MATERIALS AND METHOD: This cross sectional study involved one hundred and ninety consecutive asthma patients attending the Asthma clinic of Lagos state university teaching hospital over a three month period were interviewed with a structured questionnaire which sought information on socio-demographic characteristics, duration of asthma diagnosis, medication use, asthma control, type of complementary and alternative medicine in use, sources of information on CAM reasons for its use and cost of medications. The questionnaires were previously pretested among newly diagnosed asthmatics. Asthma control was based on the GINA(Global initiative for the study of asthma) guidelines and classified into intermittent and mild persistent, moderate persistent and severe persistent. RESULTS: There were 70 males (36.8%) and 120 (63.2%) females. The Mean age of respondents was 45.83±19.52 years with the mean duration of asthma diagnosis of 10.48±9.80 years. Current CAM use was reported in 96 (50.5%) respondents. Biologic based therapies were the most widely used form of CAM among the patients. Native local herbs was mostly used in 68 (70.8%), bitter leaf (vermonia amygdalina ) and prayer was used by 58(60.4%) and 46 (47.9%) respectively. Longer duration of asthma was associated with use of complementary and alternative medicine. The educational level and income were not associated significantly with CAM use however severity of asthma was associated with CAM use. CONCLUSION: Use of CAM is frequent among asthma patients and therefore it is important that physicians enquire from the patients about its use.