Prevalence and factors associated with use of traditional herbal medicine among infertility patients in Mulago Hospital
Kadaaga, Henry Francisco
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Background: Infertility patients are a vulnerable group that often seeks non-medical solutions for their failure to conceive. Churches (spiritualists), traditional healers and hospitals (orthodox medical treatment) services are accessed. Herbal medicine use for treatment of medical illnesses is prevalent in this country. However, it is not known, if infertile couples rely herbal remedies; hence, the need to find out the prevalence, factors associated with use of herbal medicine. Objective: To explore the prevalence and factors associated with use of traditional herbal medicine among infertility patients in Mulago Hospital. Methods: Study Design: Cross-sectional analytical study. Study Setting: Gynaecology Outpatient and Infertility clinics of Mulago Hospital. Study population: Clients attending the Mulago Gynaecology and Infertility clinics with complaints of failure to conceive. Data Management: An interviewer administered questionnaire was used. Data entry was done using EPIDATA version 3.1 and exported to SPSS version 12.0, cleaned and analyzed. Univariate analysis done for individual characteristics and results presented in frequencies and percentages. Bivariate analysis; for relationship between personal characteristics and use of traditional medicine and odds ratio were computed p ≤0.05. Multivariate analysis was used to analyze the relationship between traditional medicine use and factors associated with its use. Factors with p≤0.05 were entered into logistic regression model and assessed for confounding interaction. Results: The prevalence of use of herbal medicine was found to be 76.3% among infertility patients. Education level (≤primary vs ≥secondary), marital status (not married versus married), duration of stay with partner (1-3 years vs > 3 years) were independently associated with herbal use. Recommendations: Research is needed to look at the safety issues, success and failure rates, and the qualitative aspects of herbal use in infertility involving traditional healers /herbalists, Biomedical health practitioners and the general public. Health practitioners should directly inquire about herbal use history to identify unsafe herbal use practices, counseling, and modification in medical practice.