Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use and Quality of Life among Filipino Adult Psoriasis Vulgaris Patients Seen in a Tertiary Center: A Cross-sectional Study
Objective. To determine the prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use and its association with quality of life (QOL) among Filipino adult psoriasis vulgaris patients.
Methods. A cross-sectional study was conducted in an outpatient dermatology department of a tertiary hospital, using a semi-structured, interview-guided questionnaire, and a self-administered QOL questionnaire, the dermatology life quality index (DLQI).
Results. A total of 135 Filipino adult patients with psoriasis vulgaris were included. The prevalence of CAM use was 47%, with most CAM users being female and single. Completion of tertiary education was found significantly associated with CAM use (p < 0.05). A greater body surface area involvement and longer disease duration were more common among CAM users but these were not statistically significant. Special diet (56.3%) was the most commonly used type of CAM, followed by herbal medicine (46.9%), bath therapy (18.9%) and faith healing (12.5%). Major sources of CAM information were families (43.8%), internet/social media (28.1%) and health professionals (25%). Around 40% of the participants used CAM out of curiosity. The mean DLQI score of the respondents was 11.3 (±7.3) corresponding to poor quality of life. CAM use was significantly associated with negative impact on physical symptoms and feelings, daily activities, and work and school (P = 0.044; P = 0.019; P = 0.047). After adjusting for confounding variables, patients with poor QOL were twice more likely to use CAM but this was not statistically significant (odds ratio [OR], 1.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.78-3.95; P = 0.17).
Conclusions. The use of CAM is prevalent among Filipino adult patients with psoriasis vulgaris. The significant association between CAM use and a poor quality of life may reflect the unmet physical and psychosocial needs of patients. A patient-perspective approach should acknowledge the reasons for CAM use, which could guide the physicians in imparting available scientific evidence, or the lack thereof, for the use of CAM to these patients.