Investigation of attitude, awareness, belief, and practice of complementary and alternative medicine among type 2 diabetic patients: a cross sectional study



This study aimed to evaluate the awareness, attitude, belief, and practice of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among type 2 diabetes patients.


This cross-sectional study was conducted on 1000 type 2 diabetic patients in 2019. The stratified sampling method was used for selecting samples from those who had the inclusion criteria. Data were analyzed using SPSS 24 software.


In this study, the mean (standard deviation) of attitude score was 28.21 (3.65) (out of 45), and 64.86 % of patients had a positive attitude towards using CAM. Most of the patients (71.56 %) reported that having very little awareness of CAM modalities. The most commonly used CAM included nutritional therapy (97.1 %), exercise (93.3 %), and vitamin supplements (24.1 %). The most effective CAM modalities from the perspective of patients were nutritional therapy (36.38 %), herbal medicines (35.12), and exercise (21.53), respectively. Results showed that participants getting information about CAM from healthcare providers (58.6 %), internet (55.6 %), friends (36 %), and educational manuals (25.7 %), respectively. The most important reasons for diabetic patients to use the CAM were the treatment of the disease (39.6 %), fear of the side effects of chemical drugs (34.9 %), and increased body energy and ability (9.1 %).


The results showed that patients have a positive attitude, and most of them have experience of using CAM. However, most patients report that they have rather little awareness in this field. Thus, healthcare providers must provide patients with the necessary information so that these modalities are used correctly.

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We would like to thank the patients who assisted the authors to run this research project.


No financial support was received for this study.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hadi Tehrani.

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Ethical consideration

This study is based on a research project approved by the research council of Mashhad University of Medical Sciences with the code of ethics IR.MUMS.REC.1398.114. All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Jafari, A., Movahedzadeh, D., Barsalani, F.R. et al. Investigation of attitude, awareness, belief, and practice of complementary and alternative medicine among type 2 diabetic patients: a cross sectional study. J Diabetes Metab Disord (2021).

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  • CAM
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Awareness
  • Attitude