Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Our Study-PSGW 2006

Trends of use of Alternative Medicine in chronic hepatitis patients presenting to a hospital in Rawalpindi

Authors: Sara Ijaz Gilani, Sana Ali, Sarah Tahir Mir, Tooba Mazhar, Aftab Iqbal, Faheem Ahmed, Abeera Zareen, Omar Hyder
Institution: Rawalpindi Medical College, Rawalpindi

Background: The use of alternative medicine has been found to be a prevalent practice in the management of hepatitis world wide. Several clinical trials are being conducted to evaluate its efficacy, safety and interaction with medical therapy.
Objectives: The prevalence of alternative treatment in hepatitis patients in Pakistan has not been documented in published literature. We conducted a cross sectional survey in out patient setting in a hospital in Rawalpindi to find out its prevalence.
Method: Face to face interviews were conducted with 78 patients presenting in Liver Clinic of Holy Family Hospital, Rawalpindi. A structured questionnaire containing both open ended and closed ended questions was administered. Results were analyzed using frequency and percentage calculations.
Results: The patients in our study group predominantly (65%) suffered from HCV infection. Among the respondents 58% (n=45) were female and 42% (n=33) were male. Mean age was 43 years. Majority of them (51%) were illiterate with average monthly household income of 3000-7000 Rs. (47%).
77% (n=60) of the patients claimed using alternative medicine for hepatitis at some stage during illness Use of Quranic verses (Dam/ Darood) was the most prevalent (75%,n=50) followed by Hakim (45%,n=27) and Homeopathic (43%,n=26) medicines. The major reasons cited for using alternative medicine was high cost of conventional medicine (67%) followed by recommendations from other patients(48%).50% people believed in the effectiveness of alternative medicine and 25% doubted the efficacy of conventional treatment.13% feared the adverse effects of medical therapy. The major source of information for alternative medicine was friends and family. 65% claimed using a combination of alternative and conventional therapy and majority of them (67%) had not informed their doctor about its concurrent use. The reason for seeking conventional therapy was dissatisfaction with the alternative therapy (37%) followed by increased severity of symptoms (30%) and advice of others (17%).
Conclusion:Doctors need to be aware of all therapeutic modalities used by their patients to prevent any drug interactions. The cost of medical treatment for hepatitis is found to be the greatest obstacle in obtaining conventional treatment. The treatment seeking behavior of the patient is influenced by hearsay, advice from other patients and the community.
Published in JRMC
Volume 10,2006
Special Supplement
Page 67
Presented In PSGW
March 26,2006
Sara Ijaz Gillani
3rd Prize
Young Researcher's Award


Paddle said...

Great paper..
I was really shocked hear that the major reasons cited for using alternative medicine was high cost of conventional medicine (67%)...that is a rather high percentage.. I would have thought that people used alternative medication as a supplement to otherwise procedure or perhaps bc traditional therapy was not working for them over the years...
umm very information...

Hafiz Jaffar said...

It's certainly appreciatiable research. The stats given are selfexplanatory. Authors must have worked hard to complement the toil. I would also like them to peep into the reasons for this behaviour of patients. I would like authors to see whether the media is helping the patients to express their problems or it makes them feel stigmatized having victimized by a petty curable desease?