Patterns and predictors of complementary and alternative medicine use in people presenting with the non-communicable disease in an urban health facility, North India

Abstract

Background: The rising burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is a threat to India. Increasingly, individuals interested in improving their health and making healthy lifestyle changes are turning to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as a health-care option.
Design and Methods: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence, pattern, and predictor of alternative medicine use among NCDs patients undergoing allopathic treatment in an urban health centre. The study design was a hospital-based cross-sectional study, which was done in a government hospital, Srinagar, Pauri District, Uttarakhand, India among adult males and females aged above 20 years. The patients having NCDs were systematically sampled.
Result: Among 233 studied patients 57.1% were males. The mean age of the patients was 55.8 years (SD 13.5). Of the total studied patients 46.8% were diagnosed with DM, and 43.8% of HTN. Nearly one-fifth of the patients were known to have a CVD or COPD. A total of 49.8% of the studied NCD patients reported use of both allopathic and alternative medicine treatment and nearly 3.4% of the studied NCD patients in the last one year to seek exclusive alternative medicine treatment. The overall use of exclusive alternative medicine was low that is 3.7%, 1.0%, and 5% in diabetes, hypertension, and chronic lung disease patients, respectively.  The most common form of alternative medicine used by studied patients was medicinal herbs/biological-based medicine (MB) (62.9%). Among MB commonly used were a bitter gourd, aloe vera, and others. 29.8% of the patients used Indian/Ayurveda medicine in total.
Conclusions: The use of exclusive alternative medicine is low in adult patients with NCD. However, medical pluralism is prevalent. A better understanding of practices especially that focuses on alternative medicine needs a qualitative study, which was beyond the scope of this study.

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Published
2021-03-02
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Ethics Approval
All participants in this study approved and provided their informed written consent for the authors to analyse the information retrieved from them. The informed written consent was aimed to encourage free and informed participation of the participants’. The participants were informed that their participation was completely voluntary and that the authors would ensure the confidentiality of the data provided in any of the reports that resulted from this study. The study protocol, including the use of informed written consent, was approved by the Institute Ethics Committee, Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali Government Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Uttarakhand India (IEC/VCSGGMSI&r/033).
Supporting Agencies
The study was funded by Indian Council of Medical Research (STS 2018-03309). The funding body has no role in the design of the study and collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and in writing the manuscript.
Keywords:
Alternative, complementary, Ayurveda, non-communicable disease, hypertension, diabetes
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How to Cite
Nailwal, D., B, V. R., & Gupta, A. (2021). Patterns and predictors of complementary and alternative medicine use in people presenting with the non-communicable disease in an urban health facility, North India. Journal of Public Health Research, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/jphr.2021.2109