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Original Article

Majmaah J Heal Sci. 2013; 1(2): 35-42

Complementary and Alternative Medicine use among Health Workers in Mid-Delta, Egypt

Ahmed T ElOlemy, Nashwa M Radwan, Walid Dawood, Ihab Ali, Latifa M Fouda.

Background: Alternative and complementary medicine (CAM) attracted national attention from the media, governmental agencies, and the public. The Study aimed at assessing pattern of CAM use among health workers in mid-Delta, Egypt.

Design and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive survey with multi-stage random sample technique was used. A total sample size of 873 health workers (technicians, allied health personnel, pharmacists and physicians) was chosen randomly from two university hospitals and four general hospitals in mid-Delta. They fulfilled self-administered questionnaire regarding their socio-demographic data, knowledge on CAM and their sources, causes of CAM use, diseases for which CAM used and commonly used CAM practices in the area.

Results: females constituted 77.32% of the sample, 47.42% aged 20 - 25 years, 54.64% have less than 5 years of work, 46.39% have bachelor's degree and 50.52% have diploma. Three fourths of health workers have knowledge about CAM, 4.12% usually use CAM and 38.14% sometimes use it. Media was the source of CAM knowledge for 54.79%, followed by relatives and friends for 31.51%. One fourth of participants talk on CAM with their patients and 28.87% advice patients to use CAM. Minimal side effects (43.29%) and religious believes (21.64%) are the main causes of using CAM. Patients use CAM for backache, joint pain, abdominal colic and flatulence (18.45%, 14.56%, and 12.62%) respectively. Prophetic medicine, Honey and bee products, herbal products, food supplements and Hijama were the commonly used CAM practices in the area (73.2%, 65.98%, 47.42%, 45.26% and 38.14% respectively).

Conclusion: There is an increasing interest in CAM knowledge among health workers. Media, relatives and friends are the main sources of information. Religious practices as Prophetic medicine, honey and bee products, herbs and hijama are the most prevalent CAM practices in the area. There is reluctance in talking with their patients on CAM or referring patients to CAM practitioners.

Key words: Alternative, Complementary, Medicine, Health workers, knowledge, causes, mid-Delta, Egypt

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