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Panacea Journal of Medical Sciences

Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Hidden presence among doctors and patients, an explorative study

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Original Article

Author Details : RS Solanki

Volume : 6, Issue : 3, Year : 2016

Article Page : 159-163

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The term "alternative medicine" is used to describe healing treatments that are not part of conventional medical training. When alternative treatments are used along with conventional therapies then it is known as complementary medicine. This together is known as complementary alternative medicine (CAM). The purpose of our study was to determine the prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and perception about CAM and cultural beliefs among doctors and patients attending primary care at KEM Hospital in Mumbai.A cross-sectional study was carried out in primary care clinics in at GS Seth medical College and KEM Hospital. A random sample of 100 doctors and patients was used. Convenience sampling has been used. Doctors and patients were interviewed by a pretested semi structured questionnaire including CAM use, satisfaction with care, ailment for which CAM used and cultural health beliefs about the same.All the doctors were aware of Ayurveda, homeopathy and yoga. 40% doctors were also aware of Siddha, Unani, Naturopathy, Acupressure and Acupuncture. 82% doctors and 58% patients have tried Complementary and Alternative Medicine at least once in the past. Chronic conditions like skin ailments asthma, arthritis, body aches are most commonly sought after. Amongst different CAM therapies, 52% doctors and 41% patients consulted for Ayurveda which is highest in frequency. This is followed by Homeopathy and Yoga. 63% doctors and 69% patients were relieved of the symptoms for which they had consulted the CAM therapy. Dissatisfaction from conventional treatment, philosophical and spiritual orientation, friendlier approach of CAM therapist and affordability of CAM therapies were chief reasons to seek CAM modalities. Ayurveda is most consulted for. And maximum consultations to CAM therapies were done for skin ailments. 84% patients reported that they had tried some form of home remedies before visiting doctor. And 70% of them found these home remedies to be effective. As seen in this study, use of CAM is much prevalent among health care providers and seekers. The results of this study suggest doctors should be in a better position to make informed choices about CAM modalities. Further research and studies needed to determine the mechanism of action of many of the popular CAM modalities.

Keywords: Complementary Alternative Medicine, Prevalence, Tertiary Care Hospital

How to cite : Solanki R, Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Hidden presence among doctors and patients, an explorative study. Panacea J Med Sci 2016;6(3):159-163

Copyright © 2016 by author(s) and Panacea J Med Sci. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (