The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by Patients Undergoing Hemodialysis

Altern Ther Health Med. 2017 Jan;23(1):40-45.


Context • Hemodialysis (HD) is a frequently used method for the treatment of chronic renal failure. Patients show many symptoms and problems, depending on the success of HD and the disease. Today, one of the most commonly used methods, in addition to pharmacological treatments, for ensuring symptom control and reinforcing a patient's well-being is complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Objectives • The study was conducted to determine the benefits of the use of CAM for patients undergoing HD. Design • The study was descriptive. Setting • The study took place at 3 dialysis centers located in Kayseri, Turkey. Participants • Participants were 198 patients who had been receiving HD treatment for ≥6 mo at the 3 centers, between June 1, 2014, and August 31, 2014. Outcome Measures • The data were collected using a questionnaire with 24 questions that was prepared by the research team and was based on surveys in the literature. Descriptive statistics and a χ2 test were used in the statistical analysis of the data. Results • Of the 198 patients, 54.5% were female, 51.5% were aged ≥60 y, 52.0% were graduates of primary schools, and 53.0% were homemakers. Regarding CAM, 63.1% of the patients stated that they had used it after the start of dialysis and 64.8% of those patients stated that they had benefited from the treatments. Whereas 48.0% of the patients who used CAM had used herbal products, 91.2% had used mind-body interventions and manipulative and other methods, such as massage, hot-cold applications, and praying. Conclusions • The study found that more than half of the patients who underwent HD used ≥1 CAM method, had benefited from CAM, and had not informed the health care personnel about their use of CAM.

MeSH terms

  • Complementary Therapies*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Renal Dialysis / methods*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Turkey