Author(s): Gyasi RM, Siaw LP, Mensah CM
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Abstract ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Whilst over three-quarters of the world׳s population continues to use traditional medicine (TRM) with an increasing trend globally, limited data exist in the Ashanti Region regarding TRM utilisation. This study espoused a retrospective cross-sectional quantitative approach to examine the prevalence and pattern of TRM use among the general population in the Kumasi Metropolis and Sekyere South District, Ghana. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A sample of 324, drawn through systematic random sampling was used. The main instrument for data collection was formal face-to-face interviewer-administered questionnaire. Data were analysed using Chi-square and Fisher's exact tests from the PASW (V.17.0) with p ≤ 0.05 as significant. RESULTS: The survey found that TRM use alongside conventional medicines was pervasive with prevalence of 86.1\%. Biologically-based therapies (88.5\%) and distant prayer interventions (58.4\%) were commonly used modalities through the influence of families (50.3\%), friends (19.4\%) and the mass media (18.0\%). Whilst self-administration and purchases from pharmacy shops remained important sources of TRM, TMPs׳ consultation was less credible (p<0.005). The disclosure rate of TRM use to health care professionals remained low (12.2\%; p<0.001). CONCLUSION: Concomitant TRM use with conventional therapies without disclosure may interfere with the potency of treatment regimen and result in drug interactions. Inclusion of alternative medicines on the National Health Insurance Scheme's drug plan will fortify monitoring and professional administration of TRM. Information as regards TRM use needs to be incorporated into clinical and medical practice, hence the need to prioritise patient-physician communication. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in J Ethnopharmacol
and referenced in Alternative & Integrative Medicine