THE EXPERIENCE OF COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE (CAM) USE AMONG GHANAIAN PATIENTS WITH HYPERTENSION: RESULTS OF A QUALITATIVE STUDY
IRENE A. KRETCHY *
Department of Pharmacy Practice and Clinical Pharmacy, University of Ghana School of Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences, Ghana
FRANCES T. OWUSU-DAAKU
Department of Clinical and Social Pharmacy, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana
SAMUEL A. DANQUAH
Department of Psychology, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Introduction: Complementary and Alternative medicine (CAM) use has increased among patients with hypertension. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the perspectives of CAM use by patients with hypertension using a qualitative research approach.
Methods: This was a hospital-based one-on-one qualitative study of fifteen hypertensive patients attending the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) in Accra, Ghana. All interviews were audio-taped and transcribed ad verbatim. Codes were identified and themes and sub-themes were generated from the codes.
Results: The results of the study revealed that CAM utilization from the perspective of patients with hypertension was based on their lived experiences. The two main types of CAM therapies used were the biological-based therapies (BBT) and mind-body interventions (MBI). Participants conceptualized their use of CAM as complementary (60%) or alternative (40%) for purposes of healing (80%), as a supplement to their conventional treatment (20%) or as a remedy for the side effects associated with their anti-hypertensive medications (50%). Inconsistencies in adherence to conventional therapies (70%) were the negative effects of CAM use.
Conclusion: The present study has highlighted the fact that patients with hypertension utilize CAM and this had negative consequences on adherence to conventional care. Thus, for the effective management of hypertension, there is the need for awareness and education on the part of both patients and prescribers.
Keywords: Traditional medicine, herbal medicine, adherence, hypertension, side effects, Ghana