Main Article Content
Background: Traditional medicine is an ancient nonconventional method of treating a variety of diseases in diverse cultures of the Eastern world, and currently its potential value has been recognized around the world.
Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the current use of traditional and complementary medicine (T&CM) in Qassim province and to determine the users' profile and the most common T&CM therapies used in Saudi Arabia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study of primary healthcare (PHC, n=16) attendees (n=285, response rate=71.3%) using a self-designed reliable questionnaire concerning their sociodemographic variables and T&CM use.
Results: Besides revealing some sociodemographic characteristics and associations with traditional medicine, about 62% of participants used T&CM and 57.5% of participants reported T&CM as part of their indigenous inherited tradition. The main traditional practices including religious and spiritual healings, herbs, cupping (Al-Hijamah), cautery and honey and bee products were used most importantly for the treatment of diverse chronic health conditions by females, the two predictors of T&CM use. Ministry of Health (MOH) should offer T&CM in all public healthcare settings and should regulate its practice in private sector in order to safeguard patient affairs including holistic care and patient-centered medicine.
Conclusion: Traditional indigenous therapies especially culture-based are widely used by PHC patients in Qassim province. The National Survey is needed to draw a more comprehensive epidemiological trend of T&CM use in Saudi Arabia and by extension in other Gulf countries.