Complementary and Alternative Medicine Among Patients Attending to Dermatology Outpatient Clinic


TURKIYE KLINIKLERI TIP BILIMLERI DERGISI, vol.29, no.6, pp.1496-1502, 2009 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1496-1502


Objective: To figure out the prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use, methods of CAM used, in which diseases CAM is preferred in patients attending the dermatology outpatient clinic and to evaluate patient views about this subject. Material and Methods: A total of 1000 patients attending the dermatology outpatient clinic for any skin disease were included randomly. Demographic data of the patients were questioned. Patients using CAM filled an inquiry questioning patient views. Results: One hundred and twenty-six patients (12.6%) used CAM. Young, single patients and patients with high education level preferred CAM more frequently than others did. The most common five diseases that CAM was used for were psoriasis, acne, alopecia, alopecia areata and verruca and the most common methods were herbal topical treatment (57.9%), spiritual healing (11.90%) and balneotherapy (10.3%). Fifty percent of the patients with psoriasis and 51.4% of the patients with alopecia areata employed CAM. The rate of using CAM in patients with psoriasis increased with the duration of the disease. Eighty-four (66.6%) patients applied CAM because they heard from their entourage that it was effective. Sixty-eight (53.9%) patients learned CAM from their entourage and other patients. Most of the patients applied this method by themselves (71.4%) and at their homes (76.1%). Sixty-six (52.3%) patients spent some money for CAM. Eighty-one (64.2%) patients through that the method was ineffective, 26 (20.6%) experienced side effects and 92 (73%) stated that they would not advise CAM. Eighty (63.4%) patients did not favor coverage of CAM costs by health insurance. Conclusion: CAM use was relatively low in our study. Among herbal therapies, such as homeopathy, aromatherapy, food and vitamin supplementation methods that are mostly used in other countries, only the first one was used in our country and the use of other three methods was not reported. Unlikely, spiritual healing and balneotberapy were more prominent.