Saudi J Gastroenterol, 2013 Mar;19(2):75-80
Background and Aims: Complementary alternative medicine (CAM) covers many types of treatments and procedures that are usually not included in conventional medicine and are used in addition to physician-prescribed drugs to "complement" treatment. Although liver disease is prevalent in Saudi Arabia, not much is known about CAM use among Saudi liver disease patients. Thus, this study aimed to assess the prevalence of CAM use in these patients and their attitudes toward it. Materials and
Methods: Patients were recruited randomly from a tertiary care hepatology clinic at King Khalid University Hospital (KKUH), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from February 4 to March 20, 2012. A four-page questionnaire was used to interview patients.
Results: Of all the 232 participants surveyed, 55.6% have used or are using CAM to treat their liver disease with 45.0% of CAM users stating that they believe it has a positive effect on their treatment. Honey was the most used CAM treatment among the participants (39.0%). Herb use was represented by 31.8% of all users, while 13.5% used bloodletting as a treatment. Cautery was the least used CAM method (3.4%). Nearly 76.6% of CAM users were satisfied with using alternative treatments to help control their disease. Nearly 69.4% of users and nonusers stated that they believe CAM treatments to have numerous beneficial effects. Nearly 60.5% of CAM users stated that their physician had no knowledge of their CAM use. Of the factors included in linear multivariate regression analysis (including: Age, gender, and family CAM use, among other socioeconomic factors) only family CAM use was considered a significant independent factor affecting participants CAM use (Beta = 0.582, 95% CI: 0.372-0.754, P = 0.0001).Conclusion: More than half of the patients have reported CAM use. Overall, more than two-thirds of the entire sample believed that CAM treatments have numerous health benefits.