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Research - Abstract

  Cite this article:

Sami Aziz Brahmi, Fatema Zahra El Mírabet, Zineb Benbrahim, Yusra Akesbi, Berraho Amine, Chakib Nejjari, Omar El Mesbahi. Complementary medicine use among Moroccan patients with cancer: A descriptive study.
The Pan African Medical Journal. 2011;10:36

Key words: Complementary medicine, cancer, alternative medicine, Morocco

Permanent link: http://www.panafrican-med-journal.com/content/article/10/36/full

Received: 31/07/2011 - Accepted: 22/10/2011 - Published: 11/11/2011

© Sami Aziz Brahmi et al.   The Pan African Medical Journal - ISSN 1937-8688. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Complementary medicine use among Moroccan patients with cancer: A descriptive study

 

Sami Aziz Brahmi1,&, Fatema Zahra El Mírabet1, Zineb Benbrahim1, Yusra Akesbi1, Berraho Amine2, Chakib Nejjari2, Omar El Mesbahi1

 

1Medical Oncology Unit, Hassan II University Hospital, Fez, Morocco, 2Department of Epidemiology, Hassan II University Hospital, Fez, Morocco

 

 

&Corresponding author
Sami Aziz Brahmi, Medical Oncology Unit, Hassan II University Hospital, Fez, Morocco

 

 

Background

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. As cancer incidence rates and survival time increase, use of CAM will likely increase. However, little is known about the use of CAM in cancer patients, specifically in emerging countries.

 

 

Methods

We conducted a study in the medical oncology department at the University Hospital of Fez on the use of complementary medicine among cancer patient. The aims of this study were to estimate and describe the reasons of use of complementary medicine (CM) in patients with a cancer treated in a Moroccan oncology department. A specially designed questionnaire was completed for patient during treatment or follow-up in the oncology department after formal consent was obtained. It was a descriptive study among 100 patients over a period of 6 months between September 2008 and February 2009.

 

 

Results

A total of 100 patients participated in the study, 46 of them were identified as users of complementary medicine. The most substances used were plants 24%, pure honey 13% and water of Zem Zem (holy water from Mecca) 11%. Concerning techniques, religious practices 37%, special diets 22% and recourse to traditional healers 11% were most commonly used. No specific user profile was observed depending of different sociodemograhics and clinical parameters. The majority of the users of complementary medicine were not revealing their habits to their oncologist because the question was not raised in consultation.

 

 

Conclusion

It seems that medical doctors should ask patients about their use of complementary medicine when they obtain medical history and they need to know more about complementary medicine to offer better consultation. Complementary medicine must benefit, as well as conventional medicine, from scientific studies to evaluate potential benefits, toxicity and interactions with the conventional treatment to enable the oncologist better inform his patients.