Herbal medicine use among Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients in Nigeria: understanding the magnitude and predictors of use
Background Patients with chronic diseases exploit complementary and alternative treatment options to manage their conditions better and improve well-being. Objective To determine the prevalence and predictors of herbal medicine use among Type 2 Diabetes patients in Lagos, Nigeria. Setting Secondary healthcare facilities in Lagos state, Nigeria. Method The study design was a cross sectional survey. A two-stage sampling approach was used to select the health facilities and patients were recruited consecutively to attain the sample size. Data was collected using a structured and standardized interviewer-administered questionnaire. Characteristics, prevalence and predictors of herbal medicine use were assessed using descriptive statistics and multivariate regression analyses. Main outcome measure Herbal medicine use among Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. Results 453 patients were surveyed, 305 (67.3%) reported herbal medicine use, among whom 108 (35.4%) used herbal and conventional medicines concurrently; 206 (67.5%) did not disclose use to their physician. Herbal medicine use was significantly associated with age (p = 0.045), educational level (p = 0.044), occupation (p = 0.013), duration of diabetes disease (p = 0.007), mode of diabetes management (p = 0.02), a positive history of diabetes (p = 0.011) and presence of diabetes complication (p = 0.033). Formulations or whole herbs of Vernonia amygdalina, Moringa oleifera, Ocimum gratissimum, Picralima nitida, and herbal mixtures were the commonest herbal medicine. Beliefs and perceptions about herbal medicine varied between the users and non-users. Conclusion The use of herbal medicine among Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients in Lagos, Nigeria is high. There is dire need for health care practitioners to frequently probe patients for herbal medicine use and be aware of their health behaviour and choices, with a view to manage the disease better.
KeywordsDiabetes mellitus Herbal medicines Herbal medicines use Nigeria Predictors Prevalence
The authors sincerely appreciate all the patients who took part in this study. We also thank the administrative staff and nurses in the five health facilities that assisted in maintaining orderliness with the respondents during the interviews.
The research was funded by the authors.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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