OBJECTIVES: To determine the practice and varieties of Complementary and Alternative Medicine
(CAM) for sore throat and common cold treatment in healthcare providers(HP) and the
METHOD: This is a questionnaire-based cross sectional study conducted at Ojha Campus, Dow
International Medical Collge Karachi.
RESULTS: This study shows that 62% of our total study population use CAM (62.8% healthcare
providers, 61% general population). Combination therapy was the most popular method of CAM
usage (55.8% healthcare providers, 47% general population). Family and friends were the most
common source of CAM information in both groups. Steam, Saltwater gargles, Medicated vapors,
honey and ginger were most frequently used, in both populations. Very few persons had a
regular practice of informing their healthcare provider about their CAM use (23.8% healthcare
providers, 2.7% general population). Around 63% healthcare providers recommend CAM to their
patients for treating sore throat. The most frequent reason for doing so being their personal effective
CONCLUSION: Our study demonstrates the high usage of CAM to treat sore throat. Some basic
training in CAM should be considered for our healthcare providers, in order to integrate this
cost effective form of therapy in our healthcare system. Healthcare providers should inquire
about their patients’ CAM usage to avoid interactions between the two forms of therapy.
Complementary/ Alternative Medicine, Sore Throat, alternative therapy, Patient doctor communication.