Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Oman Med J, 2012 Jan;27(1):20-6
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is well established worldwide. The present work is aimed at studying the knowledge, attitude and practice of CAM by the people of Riyadh region, Saudi Arabia.
A cross-sectional descriptive household survey study of the people living in Riyadh city, as well as the surrounding governorates. A multistage random sample was taken from 1(st) January to the end of March 2010, with a total number of 518 participants. Data were collected using a pre-designed questionnaire through direct interview. The data was collected based on socio-demography, as well as knowledge, attitude and practice of CAM.
Participants were nearly sex-matched, consisting of approximately 70% Saudi and 30% non-Saudis. About 89% of the participants had some knowledge of CAM. Mass media e.g. (T.V., newspapers and radio) and family, relatives and friends represented the main sources of CAM knowledge, (46.5% and 46.3% respectively). Nearly 85% of participants or one of their family members has used some form of CAM before, and the most common users of CAM practices were females, housewives, and illiterate subjects (or those who could just read and write), as well as participants aged 60 years and above. Medical herbs (58.89%), prayer (54%), honey and bee products (54%), hijama (35.71%) and cauterization or medical massage therapy (22%) were the commonly used CAM practices. Most participants agreed that there are needs for; CAM practices (93.8%), regulations for CAM (94.9%), health education (96.6%), specialized centers (94.8%) and CAM clinics (92.7%). While only 8.3% of participants usually discussed CAM with their physicians.
There is a high prevalence and increased public interest in CAM use in the Riyadh region. There is a positive attitude towards CAM, yet most participants are reluctant to share and discuss CAM information with their physicians.