Knowledge and Attitude on the Usage of Traditional Complimentary Medicine (TCM) Among Patients with Diabetes Mellitus in Kuantan, Malaysia
Introduction: Traditional complementary medicines (TCM) have long been used to treat diabetes in Malaysia. However, the usage of TCM by the patients not often is revealed thus, the incidence of complications due to the TCM was not able to be monitored. Methods: A cross-sectional quantitative study was conducted on 105 patients with diabetes attended medical specialist clinic and admitted in medical wards in a tertiary hospital in Kuantan Pahang, Malaysia. Knowledge and attitude of the patients towards the usage of TCM were measured using two sets of validated questionnaires consist of 16 items in total. In addition, nine items were used to determine the demographic characteristics of the patients. The data were analyzed descriptively and inferentially with the support of statistical package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 20. Results: Findings showed that, all patients have used at least one type of TCM to treat diabetes however, majority of them have poor knowledge (69.5%) and poor attitude (60%) towards TCM. Ninety percent (90%) admitted they concealed their usage of TCM from the healthcare professionals. Conclusion: Usage of TCM seems to be very common among patients with diabetes. However, their lack of knowledge, attitude and their decision to conceal their practice from the knowledge of healthcare professional could lead to a serious issue in long-term. A comprehensive assessment procedure needs to be in place to ensure the usage of TCM is identified to minimize the undesirable complications of the usage if TCM and the diabetes itself.
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