Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) covers a wide range of approaches, including herbal medicine, manual healing techniques, traditional therapies and mind–body interventions. CAM is widely used throughout the world to treat a variety of illnesses and to maintain health. Aim: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is popular across the world, and is widely practiced. Utilization pattern and reasons for use and nonâÂ€Â‘use among patients attending a tertiary care center are assessed in this study. Subjects and Methods: One hundred and thirtyâÂ€Â‘five patients of different nationalities, above the age of 18 years, Gulf Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Ajman, UAE, were interviewed using an openâÂ€Â‘ended structured questionnaire. In addition to socioâÂ€Â‘demographic characteristics, the acceptability, utilization pattern and reasons for use and nonâÂ€Â‘use were elicited from the participants after obtaining consent from them. PASW 18 version was used to perform ChiâÂ€Â‘square test and descriptive statistics. Results: Among the 135 participants were 20âÂ€Â‘81 years old, those from the Far East used most 85.7% (6/7), then Pakistan 38.5% (15/39) and India 23% (16/70). The most common system used was homeopathy. Physicians advised 28.2% (11/39) of users, whereas others used nonâÂ€Â‘medical information. Around 71.8% (28/39) reported good outcome for themselves and family; however, only 10% (4/39) recommended it to others. Most of the users, 75% (101/135), were not sure whether CAM was based on scientific evidence, while 18% (24/135) felt it was. Good previous experience and less treatment complications were the most common reasons for using CAM and nonâÂ€Â‘use due to lack of knowledge or need. Conclusion: About oneâÂ€Â‘third of the seekers of modern medicine care also use CAM, and mostly without physician advice; hence, the importance of discussing the same while taking the clinical history. In view of the belief that CAM has fewer sideâÂ€Â‘effects, there is even more need for physicianâÂ€Â‘initiated discussion.
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