BMC Complement Med Ther. 2022 Aug 26;22(1):225. doi: 10.1186/s12906-022-03709-8.
BACKGROUND: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has played a critical role in ensuring universal access to basic health care services around the world. In Bangladesh, conventional medicine is a common approach for health care practices, yet, due to Bangladesh’s high out-of-pocket payment, millions of people utilise CAM-based healthcare services for illnesses. In Bangladesh, there is a scarcity of data on how CAM is perceived and utilised. The goal of this study was to determine the proportion and correlates of the utilisation of CAM among patients visiting a tertiary level hospital, in Bangladesh.
METHODS: A cross-sectional survey involving 1,183 patients who received health care from a hospital in Bangladesh was interviewed for this study. The associated factors on utilising CAM were identified using multivariable logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: Thirty-three percent of patients utilised CAM exclusively to treat their illnesses, whereas the rest utilised conventional medicine before CAM. Young adult patients aged 26 to 45 years (AOR = 6.26, 95% CI:3.24-12.07), patients without education (AOR = 2.99, 1.81-4.93), and married patients (AOR = 1.79, 1.08-2.97) were the most likely to be only CAM users. The most common reasons for using CAM were belief in its effectiveness, less adverse effects, affordability and lower costs.
CONCLUSION: In Bangladesh, CAM plays a significant role in health care delivery, with high-levels of patient satisfaction and health benefits. Patients who are older and have a higher level of education are more hesitant to use CAM for their illness, yet CAM has the potential to play a significant role in reducing hospitalisation by providing high reliability and low costs.