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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 115-119

Use of complementary and alternative medicine among asthmatic patients in primary care clinics in Malaysia


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

Correspondence Address:
Mustafa Ahmed Alshagga
Faculty of Medicine, Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences, Main Campus Teknokrat 3, Cyber 4, Cyberjaya - 63000, Selangor
Malaysia
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DOI: 10.4103/1817-1737.82438

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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.


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