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clinmed/2002050007v1 (July 26, 2002)
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A study on the use of complementary and alternative medicine therapies in and around Pokhara sub-metropolitan city, western Nepal

Praveen Partha, Ravi P Shankar, and Nagesh K Shenoy

Abstract: Purpose: An increasing number of patients the world over are increasingly preferring complementary and alternative medicines. In Nepal previous studies mainly based around Kathmandu valley have shown that more than 50 % of the population use complementary medicine. Studies in western Nepal and in the Pokhara valley are lacking. Hence the present study was undertaken to study the patterns of complementary medicine use in Pokhara city and the surrounding villages. Subjects and methods: 142 respondents were interviewed using a semi structured questionnaire by seventh semester medical students who were briefed by the authors before the study. The study was carried out in the month of August 2001. The pattern of use of complementary medicines in the year preceding the study was noted. Results: 62 % of the respondents had used some form of complementary medicine. Ayurveda was the most popular system. Abdominal pain was the commonest complaint and the commonest reason for preferring complementary medicine was faith in the practitioner. The lack of side effects with complementary medicine and the non-availability of doctor/health post were other commonly cited reasons. Conclusions: Complementary medicine remains very popular in and around Pokhara city. Greater integration of complementary medicine into the primary health care system should be attempted.