Knowledge, attitude and practice of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus towards complementary and alternative medicine

J Integr Med. 2016 May;14(3):187-96. doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(16)60244-3.


Objective: The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is relatively common among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) around the world. Like many other countries, Saudi Arabia has a high incidence of T2DM, and incorporates the use of CAM in its treatment. This study explores the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of CAM therapies among patients with T2DM and explores the relationships between sociodemographics and the KAP of CAM modalities.

Methods: This is a hospital-based, observational, cross-sectional study that selected 302 outpatients with T2DM, from Diabetic Center of King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Hospital, in Riyadh city, in May 2014. Patients were interviewed using a predesigned questionnaire.

Results: The mean age of patients was (51.6 ± 10.6) years and 43.4% of them were males. The prevalence of CAM practices was 30.5%; 30.39% of them used herbs, 20.58% used wet cupping and 17.64% used nutritional supplements and other therapies. The factors found to predict the use of CAM therapies among patients with T2DM were: age above 51 years, unemployment and the participants± knowledge about the effectiveness of CAM products.

Conclusion: This preliminary study estimated the prevalence of CAM use, revealed positive attitude towards CAM and found three significant predictors of CAM use among patients with T2DM, which is consistent with regional data. A community-based research with a larger sample that targets T2DM population is needed in Saudi Arabia.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged