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A comparative analysis of complementary therapies use among patients attending diabetic clinics in Taiwan: 2007 vs. 2023

BMC Complement Med Ther. 2023 Dec 13;23(1):455. doi: 10.1186/s12906-023-04299-9.


BACKGROUND: We conducted a comparative study to examine the differences in the use of complementary therapies (CT) among patients who attended diabetic clinics for follow-up treatment between 2007 and 2023 in Taiwan.

METHODS: This study employed a cross-sectional survey design to recruit individuals with diabetes from two regions (northern and southern) of Taiwan. A total of 183 and 307 participants were included in the surveys of 2007 and 2023, respectively. The data were analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics version 28.0 to compare the survey results between the two time periods.

RESULTS: Among the various CTs, nutritional supplements remained the most prevalent, with a significant increase in usage from 68.3% in 2007 to 89.9% in 2023. Conversely, other therapies, such as Chinese herbal medicines, manipulative-based therapies, supernatural healings, and bioelectromagnetic-based therapies, demonstrated a significant decrease in usage between the two time periods. Furthermore, the disclosure rate of CT use to healthcare professionals remained persistently low, with only 24.6% in 2007 and a slight increase to 30.3% in 2023.

CONCLUSION: The significant rise in the use of nutritional supplements in conjunction with conventional medicine, without adequate monitoring and guidance from healthcare professionals, poses a substantial risk of unregulated blood sugar control, compromised diabetes management, and potential harm to health outcomes.

PMID:38093241 | DOI:10.1186/s12906-023-04299-9

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