OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding traditional medicine (TM) in Oman and examine the factors that necessitate its use.
METHODS: This cross-sectional, questionnaire-based study was conducted among the general population from November 2019 and March 2020. All Omani nationals above the age of 18 were eligible to be enrolled. The questionnaire consisted of questions on the knowledge, attitudes and use regarding traditional medicine in Oman.
RESULTS: A total of 598 responses to the questionnaire were received (response rate: 85.4%), of which 552 were deemed complete. Most responses were received from males (62.5%) and the sample had a mean age of 33.6 ± 7.7 years. A majority of the respondents (90%) were aware of the different types of TM in Oman; a high percentage (81.5%) felt that it was effective. Most (67.8%) had tried at least one method of TM use. Individuals who were older had tried TM compared to those who had not (34.5 ± 7.8 years versus 31.8 ± 7.2 years; P <0.001); in addition, more males than females (72.2% versus 27.8%; P <0.001) and those with full-time employment than those without had tried TM (84.2% versus 14.2%; P <0.001). Herbal medications (65.8%) and traditional massage (60.4%) were the most common forms of TM practice. Among females, herbal medications (69.2%) and massage (63.5%) are most often used; among males, cupping (65.2%) followed by herbal medications (64.4%) and massage (59.3%) were used more often. Notably, back pain (74.3%) was the most common condition for which TM was reportedly used, with only a small percentage (8.3%) reporting any concomitant side-effects.
CONCLUSION: There is widespread use of TM among Oman's urban population. An improved understanding of their benefits will facilitate their incorporation into modern health care services.
- Complementary Medicine
- Traditional Medicine
- Cross-Sectional Studies
- Urban Population
- Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
- Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
ASJC Scopus subject areas