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Original Research

Public perceptions of cupping therapy in Tabuk city, Saudi Arabia

Amal M Al-Balawi, Abdulrahman H Almutairi, Azza O Alawad, Tarig H Merghani.


Background: In spite of the great advances in modern medicine, cupping therapy is still used in the treatment of many medical conditions.

Objective: To evaluate the general perceptions and the level of awareness about cupping therapy in a sample of Tabuk population.
Materials and Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study in Tabuk city, Saudi Arabia, among 200 adult subjects (101 males and 99 females), during the period from January to August 2015. Each participant responded to an anonymous self-administered questionnaire requesting information about his/her age, gender, educational level, as well as their knowledge, attitude, and perceptions of cupping therapy. We utilized the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 20 for data analysis.
Results: About 41% of the participants do not recommend cupping for children and only 3% do not recommend it for women. Less than 7% of all participants would try cupping before seeking medical advice, and about 8% prefer cupping instead of medications. The percentage of those who prefer specialized centers for cupping therapy were 49% and those who recommend cupping to be confined for certain diseases were 45%. The risk of contamination with the cupping instruments is known to 46% of all participants. All these results were not related to educational attainment (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: A considerable percentage of the community has a strong belief in cupping therapy as a modality of treatment for some medical conditions; however, the efficacy of cupping remains to be clarified.

Key words: Cupping therapy, knowledge, perception, Saudi Arabia

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