The practice, attitude, and knowledge of complementary and alternative medicine in Mumbai, India

Viplav Kshirsagar, Sanish Tiwari, Chetan Thingore, Dnyanesh Limaye


Background: In the recent times, there has been a resurging interest in the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in India. The present study was conducted to examine the prevalence of CAM use in Mumbai, the knowledge and attitude regarding CAM regarding its safety and efficacy and the reasons for the use of CAM.  

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the general population of Mumbai and its adjoining regions during January-July 2020. 205 residents participated in the study and were asked to fill a pretested questionnaire. The collected data was analyzed using IBM SPSS version 23.         

Results: Out of the 205 responses, 163 (79.51%) agreed to have used CAM at least once in their life. Of these, 108 (52.68%) respondents used Ayurveda and 105 (51.21%) used homeopathy. 60 (36.81%) of the respondents practicing CAM used it for common gastrointestinal (GIT)-related disorder with a 100% recovery rate, 125 (76.67%) for infectious diseases with a 93.6% recovery rate. 99 (60.74%) of the respondents preferring CAM for its safety profile, 68 (41.72%) believed that CAM is time tested and thus is efficacious. An integrative approach was suggested by 118 (57.56%) of all the respondents.  

Conclusions: There is a disparity between the high prevalence in the use of CAM and its knowledge. However, a general consensus suggests that CAM is efficacious and is practiced for various indications.  


Mumbai, Complementary and alternative medicine, Knowledge, Self-medication

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