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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 239372, 6 pages
Research Article

Patterns of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use, Perceived Benefits, and Adverse Effects among Adult Users in Enugu Urban, Southeast Nigeria

1Department of Nursing Sciences, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Enugu, Nigeria
2School of Post Basic Nursing, Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria

Received 13 November 2013; Revised 3 February 2014; Accepted 28 February 2014; Published 2 April 2014

Academic Editor: Chong-Zhi Wang

Copyright © 2014 Ijeoma Okoronkwo 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.


The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is now on the increase. Evidence from studies carried out globally has established that CAM use is very common and varies among populations. This study investigated patterns of CAM use, perceived benefits, and associated harm with CAM use among adults. A cross-sectional study was conducted in three local government areas of Enugu urban, Southeast Nigeria. An interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from all consenting adult participants aged between 18 and 65 years. Of the 732 participants interviewed, 62.8% were females while 37.2% were males. Majority (84.7%) of the participants had used CAM at one time or another. The most commonly used CAM product was the biological products, followed by spiritual therapy. The major route of administration for CAM products was oral and about 40% of the participants combined CAM with conventional medicine. Majority (78.6%) of CAM users benefited from CAM products after using them while a few complained of adverse reactions. As CAM is gaining widespread acceptance and use, there is need for clinical trial on the benefits and adverse effects associated with the use of CAM to facilitate proof of efficacy and safety of the products.