Open Access Open Badges Research article

Complementary and alternative medicine use among adults in Enugu, Nigeria

Jane-lovena E Onyiapat, Ijeoma L Okoronkwo* and Ngozi P Ogbonnaya

Author Affiliations

Department of Nursing Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus, Nigeria

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011, 11:19  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-19

Published: 4 March 2011



Attention and interest in the use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) has been reawakened globally. Evidence from studies carried out in different parts of the world has established that CAM use is very common and varies among populations. This study investigated the use of CAM among adults in Enugu urban, irrespective of their health status. It provided information on the prevalence of CAM use, forms of CAM remedies used and reasons for utilizing them


The study areas were three local government areas in Enugu urban of Enugu State. Cross-sectional survey using questionnaires were administered to randomly selected households. All consenting participants were used for the study


732 participants (37.2% males and 62.8% females) were used for the study. Ages ranged from 18 - 65 years. 620 (84.7%) of the adult population have used CAM ranging from one single type to twenty different types while 112 (15.3%) have not used any form of CAM. The most commonly used CAM product was the biological products, followed by prayer/faith healing. Major reasons for using CAM include their natural state and also for health promotion and maintenance.


There is need for adequate policy formulation and regulation to ensure safety and efficacy of CAM products. Measures to ensure rational use of CAM should be instituted.