Document Type



General Surgery


Introduction Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is becoming popular among individuals affected by chronic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus. We aimed to determine the knowledge, attitude, and practices of complementary and alternative medicine use among type 2 diabetes patients in Karachi, Pakistan. Methods An observational, prospective, cross-sectional study was conducted in the institute of diabetology in a tertiary care hospital in Pakistan from 1st March 2018 till 31st August 2018. All patients of type 2 diabetes mellitus attending the clinic for routine follow-up visits during the study period were interviewed. Their demographic characteristics, clinical data, and knowledge, attitude, practices towards use of CAM products were assessed. Data was managed using SPSS for Windows version 16.0 (SPSS Inc, Chicago, IL). Results CAM therapies were being used by 151 (57.8%) individuals. Herbs (n = 121; 80.1%), specific diets (n = 98; 64.9%), and cupping (n = 68; 45.0%) were the most readily utilized CAM practices. CAM practices were associated with diabetes-related complications [p < 0.000; Odds Ratio (OR) 2.57; Confidence Interval (CI) 1.53, 4.34], poor glycemic control (p < 0.000; OR 0.29; CI 0.17, 0.5), lack of trust in pharmaceutical products (p < 0.000; OR 5.08; CI 2.28, 11.32), poor patient-doctor relationship (p = 0.06; OR 1.47; CI 0.26, 8.17), CAM products being readily available and cheaper (p < 0.000; OR 6.1; CI 3.02, 12.32), and belief that CAM products have fewer side effects (p < 0.000; OR 12.32; CI 6.83, 22.22) and can help in diabetes control (p < 0.000; OR 35.76; CI 16.79, 76.15). Conclusion Use of complementary medicine products among Pakistani diabetic population is high. Herbs and specific diets were common modes of CAM practices. Use of CAM showed significant association with female gender, older age, unemployment, longer duration of diabetes, diabetes-related complications, and poor glycemic control.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License