Current Status of Traditional and Complementary Medicine Use in Qassim Province, Saudi Arabia

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Abdullah M. Al-Bedah
Naseem A. Qureshi
Omer Abdulaziz Al-Yahia
Abdullah Al-Saigul
Mohammed Aldoghaim
Ahmed T. El-Olemy
Sulaiman Aleidi
Asim A. Hussein
Ibrahim S. Elsubai
Tamer S. Aboushanab
Gazzaffi I. M. Ali
Ahmed H. Almosilhi
Meshari S. Alqaed
Mohammed Khalil


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.


Traditional and complementary therapies, primary healthcare attendees, ministry of health, Al-Qassim province, Saudi Arabia

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How to Cite
M. Al-Bedah, A., A. Qureshi, N., Abdulaziz Al-Yahia, O., Al-Saigul, A., Aldoghaim, M., T. El-Olemy, A., Aleidi, S., A. Hussein, A., S. Elsubai, I., S. Aboushanab, T., I. M. Ali, G., H. Almosilhi, A., S. Alqaed, M., & Khalil, M. (2017). Current Status of Traditional and Complementary Medicine Use in Qassim Province, Saudi Arabia. Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medical Research, 4(1), 1-10.
Original Research Article