The use of complementary and alternative medicine in chronic pain patients in singapore: a single-centre study.
ABSTRACT Introduction: The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in Singapore for a variety of conditions has been reported to be high. However in Asian chronic pain patients, there is no data on their use of CAM and its perceived benefits. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 210 patients was carried out in Pain Management Centre. Patients were interviewed directly on their use of CAM. The outcomes were prevalence of CAM use, the types of CAM used, the perceived efficacy and factors influencing its use. Results: The prevalence of CAM users in chronic pain is 84%. The most common class of CAM is traditional Chinese medicine (68%) the subset of which, acupuncture, was most frequently utilised (49% of patients using CAM). In univariate analyses, ethnicity was signifi cantly linked to CAM use but not gender, age, education level and income (P = 0.027). Specifically for neck pain, it was significant that patients were more likely to see a chiropractor, to use massage, to take take vitamins and ginseng to alleviate their symptoms. With upper limb pain, it was the use of Tui na, massage and seeing a TCM practitioner. For abdominal pain, it was the use of herbal medicines. The majority felt that CAM helped with their pain (72%) although less expressed satisfaction with CAM (64%). Reasons for using CAM included: having more control over their pain; fewer side effects; safety and lower costs compared to conventional medicine. Conclusion: The use of CAM in chronic pain patients is higher than the general population. Most felt that it improved their pain. As part of multimodal therapy, CAM may have a role in the management of chronic pain.
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ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of morbidity and mortality in Malaysia. There is evidence of high traditional and complementary medicine (TCM) use among population with cardiovascular risk and there have been anecdotal reports about substitution of conventional medicines with TCM. We investigated the prevalence of TCM use, treatment preference and substitution of conventional medicines in study population with cardiovascular risk factors in Pahang, Malaysia. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using an interviewer-administered questionnaire in five districts of Pahang. A total of 1250 households were chosen through proportionate and systematic sampling. Respondents aged 18 years and above were selected. The study population with cardiovascular risk factors who used TCM was higher than the general population (31.7% versus 25.9%). There were no clear preferences in using TCM by gender, age groups, educational level and income even though other bumiputeras showed a slight inclination towards TCM use. Among the study population with cardiovascular risk factors who consumed TCM, 20-30% of them were using TCM as a substitute for their conventional medications. Respondents from the younger age group (18-40 years) (57.1%), highest educational level (43.2%), other bumiputeras (38.4%) and highest income group (31.4%) preferred the combination of both conventional and traditional medicine. TCM use among population with cardiovascular risk factors is high. The high preference for combination therapy of TCM and conventional medications among young adults and the use of TCM to substitute conventional medications show that much research is needed to provide proven TCM therapies to avoid self-mismanagement of cardiovascular risk in Malaysia.The Medical journal of Malaysia 04/2015; 70(2):86-92.