Reasons, perceived efficacy and factors associated with complementary and alternative medicine use among Malaysian patients with diabetes mellitus

Shahzad S. Hasan, William Cw Loon, Keivan Ahmadi, Syed I. Ahmed, Nadeem I. Bukhari

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19 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to evaluate complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among Malaysian diabetic patients. Subjects for this case-control study were randomly selected from the pool of patients who were attending diabetes clinics, at the Hospital Tuanku Jaa'far, Seremban, Malaysia. Perceived effect of CAM use, reasons for starting CAM, and sociodemographic factors were collected from patients (n=230). Blood glucose levels were also recorded. Almost half of the study population (49.6%, 114/230) were using CAM together with conventional treatment for diabetes. Thirteen different types of CAM were utilised by the 114 CAM users and herbal medicine (64.9%) was found to be the most commonly used CAM modality. The majority of patients reported quality and safety of CAM (63.2%) and an additional treatment for diabetes (53.5%) as two main reasons for using CAM. About 44% of patients reported that their condition had improved by using CAM (R2=0.512, p=0.004), which was evident by their lowered fasting blood glucose (p=0.045, 7.171 versus 8.767). About 18% perceived their health condition as poor compared to 56% who perceived it as good after commencing CAM use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-98
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


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