The Prevalence and Determinants of Complementary Medicine Use for Nigerian Children in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

  • G.O. Christopher
  • C. Ozturk
Keywords: Alternative medicine, complementary medicine, Nigerian children


Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is extensively used in the pediatric population. Environments and the nature of diseases have an impact on the type of CAM therapies used in children. Aims: This study aims to determine the prevalence and determinants of CAM use among Nigerian children living in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC). Subjects and Methods: A quantitative, descriptive and cross-sectional study was conducted among 50 parents living in the TRNC. The parents were selected by the snowball sampling technique. Data were collected using a self-administered, NAFKAM International-CAM-Questionnaire (I-CAM-Q). The data were analyzed using SPSS version 20. Chi-square test was used to analyze the associations of CAM use with values of P < 0.05 considered statistically significant. Results: The mean ages of the parents and children were 30 ± 5.56 years and 3 ± 2.17 years, respectively. It was discovered that 34 (68%) out of 50 children had used CAM in the previous 12 months. The most commonly used CAM products were vitamins/minerals (82.4%) and herbs/herbal products (55.9%). While praying for health (61.8%) and relaxation techniques (50.0%) were the most used CAM practices. A majority of the parents perceived that CAM use was beneficial (85.3%). Approximately 10% of the children were prescribed CAM recommendation/treatment by physicians. The most used sources of information were relatives (36%) and friends (14.7%). Parents (58%) indicated that they did not disclose their use of CAMs for their children to a physician/nurse. Conclusions: CAM is used prevalently in this population and the use of CAM is primarily focused on improving well-being. CAM usage for children increases with parental use. Further qualitative research is needed to understand the parental belief in the use of CAMs for children.

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eISSN: 1119-3077