Hypertension management: Perspectives of complementary and al-ternative medicine practitioners
AbstractInformation available on the various forms of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) used in the management of hypertension is inadequate and conflicting. The primary objective of this study was to assess the use of CAM in the management of hypertension by CAM practition-ers. A qualitative study utilizing semi-structured interview guides elicited responses on CAM prac-tices from CAM practitioners who were involved in hypertension management. All interviews were audio recorded and manually transcribed. The final interview text was processed and the content thematically analyzed. Out of the thirteen CAM practitioners interviewed, there were herbalists (4), spiritual healers (2), diet therapists (2), chiropractor (1), reflexologist (1), acupuncturist (1), Ayurve-da consultant (1) and Chinese medicine practitioner (1). CAM practitioners conceptualized hyper-tension from either biomedical, biopsychosocial, or spiritual perspectives with the majority of them claiming to have a cure for hypertension. By this study, the CAM practitioners reported that 50-70% of their patients had hypertension and the treatments they offered included herbal products, dietary counselling, spiritual interventions, and ayuverdic therapies. Given the fact that hyperten-sion was the main medical condition managed by CAM practitioners, it is important that they are knowledgeable in their management approach to hypertension for better therapeutic outcome.
Keywords: Traditional medicine, herbal medicine, alternative medicine, CAM, hypertension, Ghana