Use of complementary and alternative medicine among asthmatic patients in primary care clinics in Malaysia
Mustafa Ahmed Alshagga1, Sami Abdo Al-Dubai2, Siti Summayyah Muhamad Faiq3, Ahmad Asmadi Yusuf4
1 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences, Main Campus Teknokrat 3, Cyberjaya, Malaysia
2 Department of Community Medicine, International Medical School, Management and Science University, Shah Alam, Malaysia
3 Final Year Student, Faculty of Pharmacy, Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences, Main Campus Teknokrat 3, Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia
4 Dean, Faculty of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences, Main Campus Teknokrat 3, Cyberjaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Mustafa Ahmed Alshagga
Faculty of Medicine, Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences, Main Campus Teknokrat 3, Cyber 4, Cyberjaya - 63000, Selangor
Objectives: This study aimed to determine the knowledge about asthma and the prevalence, disclosure and evaluation of the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among asthmatic patients.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 95 patients diagnosed with asthma in a primary healthcare centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia using a self-administered questionnaire.
Results: Ninety-five patients with a mean age of 47.06 years (±12.8) participated, the majority were female (66.7%), Malay (72.6%). The prevalence of ever-CAM use was 61.1%. The non-ever-CAM users' mean age was 51±13.9 years while the ever-CAM users' mean age was 44.5 ±11.5 years ( P = 0.021). Sixty-three females (66.8%) used CAM compared to 14 males (43.8%) ( P = 0.014). Thirty-six (62.1%) CAM users had not discussed use of CAM with their doctors. The main reason of non-disclosure was "the doctor never asked" (55.6%), and the main sources of information about CAM were family and relatives (46.6%). There was no significant difference between use of CAM and knowledge about asthma. The majority of asthmatic patients used rubs (39%), foods (16.9%) and herbs (16.9%). About 76% of asthmatic patients perceived CAM as good for their disease management. On linear multiple regression, Malay race ( P = 0.026) and female gender ( P = 0.006) were significant predictors of CAM use.
Conclusion: Use of CAM among asthmatic patients is relatively high, particularly among females. The majority of asthmatic patients valued the use of CAM. Non-disclosure was high in this study. Health education of asthmatic patients about CAM is highly recommended.