Use of complementary and alternative medicines by patients with orthopaedic disorders in western part of India: a cross sectional study

Nayna J. Gohil, Varsha J. Patel


Background: Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) are consumed all over the world for variety of health problems. This study was aimed at assessing the prevalence and pattern of CAM in patients with orthopaedic disorders.

Methods: This cross sectional study was carried out at outpatient department of Orthopaedics at a tertiary care teaching hospital. Data was collected with help of questionnaire which contained sociodemographic details and details of use of CAM if any by the attending patients. Data was analysed for sociodemographic and clinical characters, pattern of use of CAM, source of information and reasons for using CAM.

Results: Out of 500 participants 196 (39.2 %) reported use of CAM. Mean age of participants was 42.6±19.8 (mean±SD) years and 130 (66.3%) users were women. Illiterate patients (57%) were the most frequent users of CAM. About 77% of patients aged 60 years and above used CAM. Fibromyalgia (48%) was the commonest condition for CAM use. Folk medicines (46%) and ayurvedic medicines (45%) were most commonly used CAM. Advice from friends/relatives was the commonest source of information. None of the respondents had knowledge of adverse effects of CAM used by them and about 70% did not inform their doctor about use of CAM.

Conclusions: Use of CAM is highly prevalent in patients with orthopaedic disorders, women, illiterate and elderly being the more likely users. Concurrent use of folk remedies with allopathic medicines has potential for interactions between the two. History of use of CAM should be obtained as a routine from patients with musculoskeletal complaints.


Complementary medicine, Alternative medicine, CAM, Drug use study, Musculoskeletal disorder

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