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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 77-81

Herbal medicine use by Saudi patients with chronic diseases: A cross-sectional study (experience from Southern Region of Saudi Arabia)

1 Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Bisha, Bisha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Groote Schuur Hospital, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
3 Department of Family Medicine, College of Medicine, Majmaah University, Majmaah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mushabab Ayed Alghamdi
Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Bisha, Bisha
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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DOI: 10.4103/jhs.JHS_157_17

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Background: Herbal medicine use has become a popular treatment among patients with chronic diseases worldwide. Many patients with chronic illnesses use herbal medicine without consulting their healthcare professionals. Therefore, the primary aim of this study was to determine the frequency and correlates of herbal medicine use in Saudi patients with chronic diseases. The secondary aim was to explore how frequent patients with chronic illnesses consult their healthcare professionals for concomitant use of conventional treatment and herbal medicine. Materials and Method: A cross-sectional study conducted from December 2014 to January 2015 at King Abdullah General Hospital in Bisha. Adults aged > 18 years with chronic illnesses were enrolled in the study. The survey data form included demographic data and types of herbal medicines. Multivariate logistic regression was used to explore the effect of different factors promoting the use of herbal medicine. Results: Of the 235 patients who completed the data form, the prevalence of herbal medicine users was (67.65%), with Trigonella foenum-graecum (32.7%), Pimpinella anisum (19.49%), Nigella sativa (17.61%), Green tea (13.83%) and Peganum (5.66%) as the most frequently used. Nearly 88.67% of herb users did not consult their healthcare professionals. Almost 90.56% of healthcare professionals did not respond to herbs users' questions about herbal medicine. Patients with increased age and living in the urban area are likely to use herbal medicine with odds ratio (OR): 4.12, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.94–8.74 and OR: 109.20, 95% CI: 31.88–374.02, respectively. Conclusion: This study revealed a high prevalence of herbal medicine use among patients with chronic diseases. More awareness and education about risks and complications of herbal medicine use are needed for both patients and healthcare professionals.

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