Prevalence and Predictors of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Use Among Health Workers in Nigeria

  •  Amom Tor-Anyiin    
  •  Rose Okonkwo    
  •  Iorfa Tor-Anyiin    


BACKGROUND: The use of complimentary and alternative medicines has risen globally. We therefore, explored the prevalence and predictors of use of complementary and alternative medicines among healthcare workers.

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study that was conducted between 1st June and 31st August 2018 on the use of complementary and alternative medicines among health workers in Federal Medical Center Makurdi and Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi in Benue State. Questionnaire was used to collect data from respondents and data analysed using logistic binary regression models.

RESULT: Response rate for the study was 80.2% out of which females were 196 (58.2%) with 215 (65.7%) in the age bracket of 31 – 60 years. Married respondents were 244 (72.4%) while Medical Doctors followed by Nurses were 87 (25.8%) and 84 (24.9%) respectively. Majority of the respondents, 113 (33.8%) have a monthly salary of above N100,000 (277.8 USD @ exchange rate of N360) while health workers of Tiv ethnic extraction had the highest number of 202 (60.7%) followed by those of Idoma extraction, 95 (28.5%). Those with years of work experience between (0 -15) were 268 (87.9%). The most used CAM was spiritual therapy, 230 (68.2%) while whole-body therapy was the least with 84 (24.9%). Use of biological therapy and manipulative therapy were 182 (54%) and 207 (61.4%) respectively. The odds of a female health worker using spiritual therapy was more than twice that of their male counterpart, (AOR: 2.218, 95% CI: 1.391 – 3.538). The odds of a Community Health Extension Worker and a medical doctor using a biological therapy among the study population were four times and almost thrice respectively compared to a pharmacist (AOR: 4.117, 95% CI: 1.690 – 10.030) and (AOR: 2.541, 95% CI: 1.095 – 5.896). The odds of an Idoma health worker using a manipulative and body-based therapy was thrice that of a Tiv health worker (AOR: 3.00, 95% CI: 1.318 – 6.829). While the odds of a Tiv health worker using whole-body therapy was seven times that of Idoma (AOR: 7.420, 95% CI: 2.186 – 25.188.

CONCLUSION: There was high prevalence of CAM use by health workers and this has potentials to influence integration of CAM with conventional medicines.

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