chapter will look at the prevalence of CAM to treat psychiatric Disorder the
demographics of CAM users and some of the notable examples of CAM in
2.2 Prevalence of CAM to treat Psychiatric
and herbal medicine has taken the new name, complementary and alternative
medicine (CAM). CAM refers to those healing and diagnostic disciplines that
exist largely outside the institutions where orthodox or conventional health
care is provided (Shaikh and Hatcher,
The relationship between user
satisfaction with conventional medicine and prevalence of use of CAM is subtle
and complex. Large epidemiological studies in Western countries show that CAM
users are no less satisfied with conventional medicine than non-CAM-users
(Eisenberg et al, 2011; Saeed et al, 2010). That is, using CAM is not simply
due to dissatisfaction with conventional treatment. Repeatedly, CAM users
report that using both forms of care together is more useful than either alone
(Eisenberg et al, 2011; Darko, 2012). However, CAM users do complain about the
quality of the doctor-patient relationship during the brief consultations
typical of conventional medicine (Heiligers et al, 2010). In addition to more
satisfying consultations, the philosophies behind CAM have a persuasive appeal
which users find compelling.
contrast, conventional medicine is described by CAM users as disjointed and
impersonal, and ultimately disempowering (Barrett, 2014). Whereas conventional
doctors may be more interested in objective improvements – or changes in
psychopathology, perhaps even measured on a rating scale – CAM practitioners
acknowledge and take seriously all subjective changes, thus validating the
patient and their experience (Zollman and Vickers, 2011). While psychiatrists
acknowledge the importance of spirituality and religion, and are more willing
than other physicians to talk about them with patients (Curling et al, 2011),
they are unlikely to supply a worldview which is as appealing and satisfying as
the philosophies motivating CAM use.
et al (2011) mentioned that the treatment of psychiatric disorders in low- and
middle- income countries (LMIC) is poor and that there is need to consider
urgent delivery of proper health services to the people. It has been found that
the epidemiological and health services offered in 58 countries that fall in
the LMIC have poor health services (Heiligers et al, 2010). It showed that the
number of health personnel like doctors and nurses were very low at less than
using CAM is becoming a very attractive way to ensure that health services are
given to communities that need it (Jilik, 2013). CAM is quickly being
incorporated into the main health systems and are used to help build up the
conventional medicines particularly on patients in rural areas where CAM is
2.3 Demographics of CAM users and
published work show that CAM as used among male psychiatric patients in Africa range
from 8% to 15% (Jensen, 2011).
Unfortunately, most of these studies involved males and females who may not be
reflective of the general population of psychiatric patients in Africa. Many of
the studies were conducted in countries other than Kenya, where attitudes
toward unconventional therapies may be different based on gender hence the need
for the present study. Additionally, most studies measure CAM use in males and
females who have chronic conditions or who were sampled at health care
facilities (Jensen, 2011).
Further, according to Otieno (2011), herbal medicine
is more easily accessible to the female rural populace, who constitute a
greater proportion of the total population of the country, especially in the
northern and eastern regions of Kenya where modern medical facilities are
barely adequate. According to Sawyer et al (2012), access to essential
medicines is severely restricted by lack of resources and poverty and the study
seemed to indicate that females used CAM more than females. However, the study
was generalized and did not look at the same demographics among psychiatric
patients as this study will do.
although many studies identified the increasing prevalence of CAM use
throughout the world, only a few reported on how patients perceived the
efficacy of this healthcare modality in specific diseases and what demographics
dominate the use of CAM for psychiatric disorders (Clement et al, 2012).
According to Clement et al, (2012) the major factor contributing to the
increasing popularity of CAM in developed countries and their sustained use in
developing countries is the perception that herbal remedies are efficacious,
and in some cases more so than allopathic medicines.
CAMS Used Concomitant to Conventional Drugs
Clement et al (2012) discovered that 86.6%
believed that herbal medicine were equally or more efficacious than
orthodox/conventional medicines for specific ailments and diseases. According
to Mensah, the potency and effectiveness of CAM have
been proven through research. CAM therapies have
shown remarkable success in healing acute as well as chronic diseases (Shaikh and Hatcher, 2015). Buor
(2011), for instance discovered that there is a kind of psychological security
in the medical approaches of the herbal medicine man which is able to relieve a
patient of strong psychic pressure.
CAM medicine provides more effective treatments to certain
health problems such as boils, tuberculosis, stroke, arthritis, epilepsy,
asthma, infertility, hernia, hypertension, diabetes, malaria, depression,
mental illness and disease prevention as well as for the ageing population,
where modern medicine has either failed to produce equally good results or has
simply ignored the need for systematic attention and research (Darko, 2012).
Also, in cases of sexually transmitted diseases, typhoid fever, yellow fever,
menstrual and fertility problems, herbal medicines are considered effective (Shaikh and Hatcher, 2015). Herbal
medicines have also shown a wide range of efficacy in the treatment of various
diseases such as breast, cervical and prostate cancers, skin infections,
jaundice, scabies, eczema, typhoid, erectile dysfunctions, snakebite, gastric
ulcer, cardiovascular disorders and managing HIV/AIDS (Verma and Singh, 2011).
Significantly, it is evident that some CAM have been recognized internationally for the treatment
of psychiatric diseases (IUPAC, 2011).
Herbs remain the foundation for a large amount of commercial medications used
today for the treatment of psychiatric problems (IUPAC, 2011). For instance, Artemisinin which is extracted from
the Chinese herbal wormwood plant, Artemisia annua’ is the basis of most
effective psychiatric drugs the world has ever known (WHO, 2013). Western
researchers learned of the plant, for the first time, in the 1980s, but had
been used in China for almost 2000 years to treat mental problems. However, due
to skepticism surrounding the drug, it was only until 2004 that WHO approved of
it for use internationally (IUPAC, 2011).
Artemisinin is also effective in combating other diseases and has demonstrated
significant potential for the treatment of cancer and schistosomiasis (IUPAC, 2011; Shaikh and Hatcher, 2015).
the Neem tree (Azadirachta indica), which is indigenous to West Africa,
is effective in the treatment of several diseases. The bark of the Neem tree is
perceived to be effective in the management of schizophrenia (Davies, 2014). In addition to this,
Davies, accounts that East Indians use it to make a strong soap that cures skin
diseases. Africans also chew it to clean their teeth and it works as well as
brushing with toothpaste, and supposed to be healthier for the gums. More so,
the plant Curcuma Longa is perceived to be effective in the treatment of
many mental disease (Davies,