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Complementary and alternative medicine use in medical OPD patients of rheumatoid arthritis in a tertiary care hospital

Shamiya Sadiq, Sharminder Kaur, vijay khajuria, Sapna Gupta, Aman Sharma.

Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is high among chronic illness like arthritis to derive additional benefits.

Aim and Objective: To examine CAM use among rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.

Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in 100 patients having rheumatoid arthritis reporting to medical OPD of tertiary-care hospital. Patients were asked to respond to a predesigned questionnaire pertaining to demographic profile and CAM usage.

Result: CAM use was high among RA (60%) patients more so with longer duration of disease (81.66%). Majority of patients were from rural background (80%) above 40 years age (87%) and were females. Of all, 75% patients took to CAM after anti-rheumatoid drugs and lack of relief was the main reason. Ayurveda was most common type of CAM (35%) used and relatives were the principal source of information (58.33%). Most of the patients (61.66%) of rheumatoid arthritis reported relief with CAM.

Conclusion: CAM use is high among RA patients especially in females and patients with longer duration of disease. Lack of benefit from anti-rheumatoid drugs was the main reason of CAM usage. Ayurveda was the most common type of CAM used. Therefore, the outcome of the study calls for the attention of treating physician regarding CAM use as some orally used CAM therapies can be harmful due to possibility of interactions and heavy metals.

Key words: Complementary and alternative medicine, CAM, rheumatoid arthritis, anti-rheumatoid drugs, tertiary care

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