Gender Differences in the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Practice: A Community-Based Survey
Background: Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is a common practice worldwide and there is a broadening interest among Saudi population in its curative potential. This study aimed to determine the gender differences of Saudi population in the use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine based on individual practice and beliefs.
Aim: To determine the purpose, beliefs, and commonly used modalities in CAM among the indigenous community in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Methodology: This is a cross-sectional study conducted in Riyadh region of Saudi Arabia. Data were collected from 740 respondents by a pre-tested questionnaire after obtaining ethics approval. Statistical analysis was performed by SPSS software version 25.0.
Result: Sixty-one (28.6%) males prefer the use of CAM over modern medicine compared to 205 (38.9%) females. One hundred and twenty-one (56.8%) and 297 (56.4.%) of males and females, belief that CAM can cure diseases what Modern Medicine still struggle with. Two hundred and forty-two (45.9%) females and 79 (37.1%) males use CAM for treatment respectively. Ninety males (42%) use CAM based on cultural reasons:
However: Two hundred and twenty-five (42.7%) females use CAM based on their belief on its scientific evidence.
Conclusion: Females prefer CAM use more than males. Both genders use CAM mainly for treatment. Herbs are the most common types of CAM for both males and females. The source of getting CAM products is family and friends both genders. The use of CAM is based on cultural reasons for males, scientific evidence forms the base of CAM use for females.