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Use of complementary and alternative medicine and factors affecting their use among Libyan children with rheumatic diseases at Tripoli Children's Hospital 2019

MOJ Orthopedics & Rheumatology
Fawzea M Almsagri,Mabruka M Zletni2, Jamal S Meezogi1, Aisha Ben Rewen,Salmin K Shalmani,4 Awatif Abushhaiwia2

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Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is defined as a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered as conventional medicine.

Aim of the study: To determine the prevalence, types, and factors affecting use of complementary and alternative medicine among Libyan children with rheumatic diseases.

Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in rheumatology clinic at Tripoli Children's Hospital, in which parents of children with different rheumatic diseases were interviewed by using a pre formed questionnaire at their routine visits. Data were managed and analyzed by SPSS data base (version 19).

Result: Of 103 interviewed parents, 71(69%) were mothers with mean age of 41.21 years, 39% of whom had a university degree, and 50% of whom were employed. 31% were fathers with mean age of 47.7 years, 74% of whom were employed and 38% of whom had a university degree. 65\103(63%) of parents were living outside Tripoli. Majority of patients were females (75%) with a mean age of 12.8 years, 95% of the patients living with both their father and mother together.

63% of patients had juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Overall, 83% of patients were CAM users, 77% of theme was females and 65% had been diagnosed as JIA. The most frequently used CAM were Natural health products (69.8%) as honey and Meringa. Almost all CAM users (96.5%) did not change or stop their conventional therapy nor did they deviate from their scheduled visits in the rheumatology clinic.

Conclusion & recommendation: CAM use was common among patients followed in the pediatric rheumatology clinic; Natural health products were the most commonly used CAM. Very little is known about the benefits or potential harms of CAM despite its widespread use. Education and counseling programs to patients and parents about CAM use can help in the management of such chronic diseases. 


complementary and alternative medicine, children, rheumatic disease, indigenous therapies, health facilities, patient complain, health care, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, rheumatology patients, disease duration, education level, artharlgia, joint pain, medical therapy, adherence