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Original Research

RMJ. 2015; 40(3): 294-298

Use of complementary and alternative medicine in orthopedic patients in Pakistan: A cross-sectional study.

Hamza Hassan Khan, Asfandyar Khan Niazi, Haider Ghazanfar, Ghulam Haider Khan, Mohammad Arslan Chaudhry, Zarak Hassan Khan, Salman Assad, Laila Hassan Khan, Muhammad Omar Qureshi, Sajjad Hassan Orakzai.

Objective: The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is highly prevalent in the Pakistani population but very limited data in available on the use of CAM by orthopedic patients. This study was conducted to assess the frequency of CAM use in a Pakistani orthopedic patient population and define their knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding CAM.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in a tertiary care center using a questionnaire based on 19 questions related to the demographics, knowledge, attitudes, practices and prevalence of CAM was administered to 1280 patients. Out of these 1280 patients, 1140 agreed to fill the questionnaire. The data obtained was analyzed using SPSS version 21.0.

Results: Data obtained showed as many as 29.5% of the patients in the study had used CAM for their primary complaint. These patients shifted to allopathic medicine primarily due to a failure of treatment by CAM (66.4%), advice from relatives or friends (38.1%), easy accessibility of Allopathic Medicine (8.9%) and financial reasons (3.9%). About 56.7% patient said that they were unaware of any side effects of CAM and 69.9% said that allopathic medicine was more effective than CAM.

Conclusion: There are several misconceptions that lead to the use of CAM in the Pakistani society. Awareness programs among the general population should be run to make them aware of the pros and cons of CAM practices.

Key words: Complementary; alternative; medicine; orthopedics; Pakistan

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