Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine among Cancer Patients in Meru County, Kenya.
Kiraki, Monicah, W.
Mburugu, Robert, Kei
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Cancer is among the leading causes of death globally.Despite advancing technology in conventional methods of cancer diagnosis and treatment, access to services remains a big challenge especially in the developing countries.Out of desperation, patients may be tempted to use Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) to improve their health outcomes.However, there is minimal data in Kenya and specifically Meru County on use of CAM among cancer patients.The study aimed to assess the level of use, sources and perceived effects of CAM among cancer patients in Meru County.A descriptive cross-sectional study design was adopted in this study.Data was obtained from 117 participants through a researcher administered questionnaire.Data was cleaned, coded and keyed manually into the statistical package of social sciences (SPSS) version 23.Data was then summarized using means,percentages, frequency tables and measures of dispersion.The results showed that almost half of the respondents (47.9%) were using CAM mainly to cure cancer (78.6%). here was no association between use of CAM and the socio-demographic factors (p>0.05).The common CAM methods used included; spiritual therapy (37.5%), vitamins and supplements (26.5%) and local/traditional herbs (19.6%).Friends (55.4%) and family members (53.6%) provided the major sources of information on CAM.Pastors and local chemists were the most common sources of CAMs used. Improved health (n=30, 53.6%) and ability to cope with the disease (n=16, 28.6%) were the most frequent perceived benefits reported by CAM-users. None of the CAM-users reported any adverse/side effects experienced after use of CAM.Conclusively, results depicted a significant percentage of cancer patients in Meru County use CAM; mainly spiritual therapy and vitamins and mineral supplements. Health care provider should pay close attention to use of CAM while taking history from cancer patients and advice accordingly.Meru county government should regulate all CAM products that are accessible to the public and ensure the providers are well trained and registered.
CitationMonicah, K., Mbugua, G., & Mburugu, R. (2019). Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine among Cancer Patients in Meru County, Kenya. International Journal of Professional Practice, 7(1), 24-33. Retrieved from http://library.kemu.ac.ke/ijpp/index.php/ijpp/article/view/25
International Journal of professional practice (IJPP)
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- School of Medicine and Health Sciences