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Perceived benefits, problems and risks in complementary and alternative medicine use among pregnant women in the Niger delta, Nigeria

MOJ Women's Health
Endurance Uzobo, Elliot A Sibiri

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It is has been observed that in the healthcare sector, complementary and alternative medicine continues to gain global attention. Previous studies have rightly explored the benefits, associated problems and risk of CAM use. Though these preferred benefits, problems and risk of CAM use have not been studied within the Niger Delta Region where the inhabitants rely mainly on forest resources for their health needs. Therefore this study aim at identifying the perceived benefits, problems and risk associated with CAM use among pregnant women in the Niger Delta Region.The study engaged a cross-sectional survey method and was carried out in twelve communities and among 325 women using the questionnaire and 36 women using an In-depth interview. Data collected for the study were analysed using quantitative methods at the uni variate, bivariate and multivariate level, and thematic content analysis for the qualitative data. Findings from the study showed that ‘cultural belief’ (3.80±1.10), ‘accessibility’ (3.50±0.90), ‘meeting primary health needs’ (3.69±1.09) ‘easy affordability’ (3.30±1.18), warding off evil spirit (3.08±1.132), greater choices, control and participation (3.04±0.669); and emphasis on prevention and wellness (3.10±0.93) were all identified as the reasons for the use of CAM. On the other hand; ‘lack of standardization’ (3.21±0.957) ‘lack of research institutes on CAM’ (3.28±0.686), ‘safety and precautions about CAM use’ (3.16±0.823), ‘too many quacks CAM practitioners’ (3.70±0.946) were all perceived as the risk involved in the use of CAM. Also, the risks of ‘not a remedy for the actual problem it was intended for’, ‘complications’, ‘serious side effects’, ‘difficult to ascertain dosage’ and ‘non-compatibility with conventional medicine’ were all rejected as the risk involved in the use of CAM by the respondents. As long as pregnant women continue to patronize the CAM, it is expedient that some form of regulation and standardization be instituted by the government through the ministry of health at various levels.



complementary and alternative medicine, pregnant women, perceived benefits, perceived problems, perceived risks