Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Among Patients on Long Term Treatment in a Tertiary Health Institution in Jos Nigeria

Tolulope O. Afolaranmi, Zuwaira I. Hassan, Esosa J. Uwadiae, Uchechukwu E. Nwokolo, Ijeoma B. Nwaemelu, Kainechukwu G. Ugwu, Obinna J. Ugwu, Kayode K. Bello, Akinyemi O. Ofakunrin


Background: The use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is on the increase globally and found to be more pronounced among those with chronic illnesses even in the face of insufficient scientific evidence to support its efficacy. Hence, this study was conducted to assess the level of use of CAM and its predictors among patients on long term care in tertiary health institution.

Methods: This was a cross‑sectional study conducted among 176 patients accessing treatment for chronic medical conditions in Jos University Teaching Hospital using quantitative method of data collection. Epi Info statistical software version 7 was used for data analysis and a value of P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: The median age of respondents was 50 (IQR 30–84) years with 83 (47.2%) being 51 years and above. Utilization of CAM was reported among 72 (40.9%) with herbal preparation ranking highest among 56 (77.8%) the respondents. Absence of side effects (AOR = 2.23; 95% CI = 1.6918–3.2135) and consistency with culture (AOR = 4.46; 95% CI = 1.4695–6.1851) were identified predictors of CAM use.

Conclusions: This study has demonstrated a relatively high level of CAM use with perceived absence of side effects, peer influence, and consistency with culture predicting its use.


Chronic disease; complementary therapy; long term care; Nigeria

Full Text:



Ezeome ER, Anarado AN. Use of complementary and alternative

medicine by cancer patients at the University of Nigeria

Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria. BMC Complement Altern

Med 2007;7:28.

Amira OC, Okubadejo NU. Frequency of complementary and

alternative medicine utilization in hypertensive patients attending

an urban tertiary care centre in Nigeria. BMC Complement

Altern Med 2007;7:30.

Feldman DE, Duffy C, DE Civita M, Malleson P, Philibert L,

Gibbon M, et al. Factors associated with the use of

complementary and alternative medicine in juvenile idiopathic

arthritis. Arthritis Rheum 2014;51:527‑32.

Lee GBW, Charn TC, Chew ZH, Ng TP. Complementary and alternative medicine use in patients with chronic diseases in

primary care is associated with perceived quality of care and

cultural beliefs. Fam Pract 2014;21:655‑60.

George J, Loannides‑Demos LL, Santamaria NM, Kong DCM,

Stewart K. Use of complementary and alternative medicines

by patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. MJA


Wootton JC, Sparber A. Surveys of complementary and

alternative medicine: Part I. General trends and demographic

groups. J Altern Complement Med 2001;7:195‑208.

Busari AA, Mufutau MA. High prevalence of complementary

and alternative medicine use among patients with sickle cell

disease in a tertiary hospital in Lagos, South West, Nigeria.

BMC Complement Altern Med 2017;17:299.

Mollaoğlu M, Aciyurt A. Use of complementary and alternative

medicine among patients with chronic diseases. Acta Clin Croat


Mansoor GA. Herbs and alternative therapies in the hypertension

clinic. Am J Hypertens 2001;14:971‑5.

Ibrahim T. Sample size determination. In: Research Methodology

and Dissertation Writing for Health and Allied Health

Professionals. 1st ed. Abuja, Nigeria: Cress global link limited;

p. 75‑9.

Abodunrin OL, Omojasola T, Rojugbokan OO. Utilization of

alternative medical services by people of a north central city of

Nigeria. East Afr J Public Health 2011;8:82‑7.

Astin JA. Why patients use alternative medicine: Results of a

national study. JAMA 1998;279:1548‑53.

Naja F, Mousa D, Alameddine M, Shoaib H, Itani L, Mourad Y.

Prevalence and correlates of complementary and alternative

medicine use among diabetic patients in Beirut, Lebanon:

A cross‑sectional study. BMC Complement Altern Med


Brahmi SA, El Morabet FZ, Benbrahim Z, Akesbi Y, Amine B,

Nejjari C, et al. Complementary medicine use among Moroccan

patients with cancer: A descriptive study. PAMJ 2011;10:36.

Kew Y, Chia YL, Lai SM, Chong KY, Ho XL, Liew DW, et al.

Traditional and complementary medicine (TCM) among study

population with cardiovascular risk; use and substitution for

conventional medicine in Pahang, Malaysia. Med J Malaysia


Farooqui M, Hassali MA, Shatar AKA, Farooqui MA, Saleem F,

Ha NU. Use of complementary and alternative medicines

among Malaysian cancer patients: A descriptive study. J Tradit

Complement Med 2016;6:3216.

Mbada CE, Adeyemi TL, Adedoyin RA, Badmus HD,

Awotidebe TO, Arije OO, et al. Prevalence and modes of

complementary and alternative medicine use among peasant

farmers with musculoskeletal pain in a rural community

in South‑Western Nigeria. BMC Complement Altern Med


Rhee SM, Garg, VK, Hershey CO. Use of complementary and

alternative medicines by ambulatory patients. Arch Intern Med


Gras M, Vallard A, Brosse C, Beneton A, Sotton S, Guyotat D,

et al. Use of complementary and alternative medicines among

cancer patients: A single‑center study. Oncology 2019;97:18‑25.

Shih V, Chiang JYL, Chan A. Complementary and alternative

medicine (CAM) usage in Singaporean adult cancer patients.

Ann Oncol 2009;20:752‑7.