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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 7-10

Patients' attitudes toward alternative medicine as a treatment for musculoskeletal conditions: One center's experience

1 Department of Orthopedics, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Khalid AlSaleh
King Saud University Medical City, King Saud University, Riyadh 12372
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jnsm.jnsm_46_21

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Introduction: Despite rapid progress in providing advanced medical care, patients still seek traditional and alternative medicine (AM) therapies for their musculoskeletal complaints. Materials and Methods: A survey of adult patients attending the outpatient orthopedic clinics of a Tertiary Care Institution in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, was performed. The survey was designed to delineate the patients' demographics, current musculoskeletal complaints, previous history of seeking an alternative treatment modality, and their opinions regarding these AM therapies. Results: One hundred and ninety-six patients agreed to fill the questionnaire. Fifty-four (27.6%) admitted to having had AM in the past. Wet cupping and traditional manual therapy were the most popular AM modalities undertaken, follow closely by herbal treatment and cautery. Age and educational level were found to be associated with the use of AM (P < 0.05). Most participants would never consider using AM, their rationale because it was perceived to be either unsafe or ineffective. Conclusion: AM use for musculoskeletal ailments is still prevalent. It is provision by the untrained and unlicensed individual is a concern. Better access to healthcare, advances in education, and a younger population may decrease its prevalence in the future.

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