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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 983792, 8 pages
Research Article

Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine among People with Type 2 Diabetes in Taiwan: A Cross-Sectional Survey

1Fooyin University, 151, Chinhsueh Rd., Ta-liao, Kaohsiung 83101, Taiwan
2Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation, Griffith University, Southport QLD 4222, Australia
3Research Centre for Clinical and Community Practice Innovation and Gold Coast Health Service District, Griffith University, Southport QLD 4215, Australia
4School of Pharmacy, Griffith University, Gold Coast QLD 4222, Australia

Received 1 February 2010; Revised 19 May 2010; Accepted 10 July 2010

Copyright © 2011 Hsiao-yun Annie Chang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Research into CAM use by people with diabetes is limited. This study explored CAM use among patients who attend diabetic clinics for followup treatment. Special attention was paid to patients' changing patterns of CAM use before and after diagnosis with Type 2 diabetes, their experience of CAM use, and their management of CAM use with conventional medicines. A retrospective cross-sectional survey ( 𝑛 = 3 2 6 ) was undertaken in three census regions in Taiwan, including metropolitan, urban, and rural areas in 2006-7 (87.4% response rate). Participants reported extensive use of CAM with conventional medicines. The prevalence of CAM use was 22.7% before and 61.0% after diagnosis with Type 2 diabetes with nutritional supplements being the most commonly used CAM before and after diagnosis. However, the disclosure rate of CAM use to healthcare professionals remained low (24.6%), and lack of knowledge about CAM ingredients was common (63.4%). Awareness of the widespread use of CAM by people with Type 2 diabetes is crucial for healthcare professionals. The self-administration of both conventional medicines and CAM without disclosure of CAM use to healthcare professionals may result in ineffective diabetes management and adverse effects. CAM information needs to be incorporated into clinical practice and patient and professional education.