Belief, complementary and alternative medicine, kidney diseases, surveillance, herbs, nutritional supplements
Background: The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for treatment of chronic diseases has been on the increases globally. This is an important risk factor in the pathogenesis of kidney injury. Identifying patients who believe in their use for treatment of kidney disease will assist in targeted surveillance and intervention activities to avert adverse health outcomes.
Aim: To obtain the proportion of adults in a rural population who believe in use of CAM in treatment of kidney diseases. We also sought to establish any association between this belief and the educational level, knowledge of function of kidneys and causes of kidney diseases. Methods: A semi-structured, researcher–administered questionnaire was the tool for data collection.
Results: Four hundred and thirty five (435) questionnaires were analyzed. There were 160 males (36.8%) and 275 females (63.2%), male/female ratio been 1:1.7. The mean age was 42.8±14 years with a range of 18 to 78 years. Only 26.6% correctly identified at least two basic functions of the kidneys. Also 32.6% of the respondents were aware of at least three common causes of kidney diseases in our environment. Belief in alternative therapy to kidney disease was documented in 83.2%. There was no association between this belief and educational level of the participants and their knowledge of functions of kidneys and causes of kidney disease.
Conclusion: Belief in CAM is high in the study population. Interventions that will cause a re-orientation need to be initiated to avert possible adverse health implications of a corresponding use.
Key words: Belief, complementary and alternative medicine, kidney diseases, surveillance, herbs, nutritional supplements.