Thischapter will look at the prevalence of CAM to treat psychiatric Disorder thedemographics of CAM users and some of the notable examples of CAM inpsychiatric disorders. 2.2 Prevalence of CAM to treat PsychiatricDisorderTraditionaland herbal medicine has taken the new name, complementary and alternativemedicine (CAM). CAM refers to those healing and diagnostic disciplines thatexist largely outside the institutions where orthodox or conventional healthcare is provided (Shaikh and Hatcher,2015).The relationship between usersatisfaction with conventional medicine and prevalence of use of CAM is subtleand complex. Large epidemiological studies in Western countries show that CAMusers 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 simplydue to dissatisfaction with conventional treatment. Repeatedly, CAM usersreport 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 thequality of the doctor-patient relationship during the brief consultationstypical of conventional medicine (Heiligers et al, 2010). In addition to moresatisfying consultations, the philosophies behind CAM have a persuasive appealwhich users find compelling. Incontrast, conventional medicine is described by CAM users as disjointed andimpersonal, and ultimately disempowering (Barrett, 2014). Whereas conventionaldoctors may be more interested in objective improvements – or changes inpsychopathology, perhaps even measured on a rating scale – CAM practitionersacknowledge and take seriously all subjective changes, thus validating thepatient and their experience (Zollman and Vickers, 2011). While psychiatristsacknowledge the importance of spirituality and religion, and are more willingthan 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 asthe philosophies motivating CAM use.Curlinget al (2011) mentioned that the treatment of psychiatric disorders in low- andmiddle- income countries (LMIC) is poor and that there is need to considerurgent delivery of proper health services to the people. It has been found thatthe epidemiological and health services offered in 58 countries that fall inthe LMIC have poor health services (Heiligers et al, 2010). It showed that thenumber of health personnel like doctors and nurses were very low at less than60%.
Therefore,using CAM is becoming a very attractive way to ensure that health services aregiven to communities that need it (Jilik, 2013). CAM is quickly beingincorporated into the main health systems and are used to help build up theconventional medicines particularly on patients in rural areas where CAM iseasily available. 2.3 Demographics of CAM users andpsychiatric DisordersCurrentpublished work show that CAM as used among male psychiatric patients in Africa rangefrom 8% to 15% (Jensen, 2011).Unfortunately, most of these studies involved males and females who may not bereflective of the general population of psychiatric patients in Africa. Many ofthe studies were conducted in countries other than Kenya, where attitudestoward unconventional therapies may be different based on gender hence the needfor the present study. Additionally, most studies measure CAM use in males andfemales who have chronic conditions or who were sampled at health carefacilities (Jensen, 2011).Further, according to Otieno (2011), herbal medicineis more easily accessible to the female rural populace, who constitute agreater proportion of the total population of the country, especially in thenorthern and eastern regions of Kenya where modern medical facilities arebarely adequate.
According to Sawyer et al (2012), access to essentialmedicines is severely restricted by lack of resources and poverty and the studyseemed to indicate that females used CAM more than females. However, the studywas generalized and did not look at the same demographics among psychiatricpatients as this study will do. Moreover,although many studies identified the increasing prevalence of CAM usethroughout the world, only a few reported on how patients perceived theefficacy of this healthcare modality in specific diseases and what demographicsdominate the use of CAM for psychiatric disorders (Clement et al, 2012).According to Clement et al, (2012) the major factor contributing to theincreasing popularity of CAM in developed countries and their sustained use indeveloping countries is the perception that herbal remedies are efficacious,and in some cases more so than allopathic medicines.Examples ofCAMS Used Concomitant to Conventional DrugsClement et al (2012) discovered that 86.6%believed that herbal medicine were equally or more efficacious thanorthodox/conventional medicines for specific ailments and diseases. Accordingto Mensah, the potency and effectiveness of CAM havebeen proven through research.
CAM therapies haveshown 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 securityin the medical approaches of the herbal medicine man which is able to relieve apatient of strong psychic pressure. CAM medicine provides more effective treatments to certainhealth 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 hassimply 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). Herbalmedicines have also shown a wide range of efficacy in the treatment of variousdiseases such as breast, cervical and prostate cancers, skin infections,jaundice, scabies, eczema, typhoid, erectile dysfunctions, snakebite, gastriculcer, cardiovascular disorders and managing HIV/AIDS (Verma and Singh, 2011).
Significantly, it is evident that some CAM have been recognized internationally for the treatmentof psychiatric diseases (IUPAC, 2011).Herbs remain the foundation for a large amount of commercial medications usedtoday for the treatment of psychiatric problems (IUPAC, 2011). For instance, Artemisinin which is extracted fromthe Chinese herbal wormwood plant, Artemisia annua’ is the basis of mosteffective psychiatric drugs the world has ever known (WHO, 2013).
Westernresearchers learned of the plant, for the first time, in the 1980s, but hadbeen used in China for almost 2000 years to treat mental problems. However, dueto skepticism surrounding the drug, it was only until 2004 that WHO approved ofit for use internationally (IUPAC, 2011).Artemisinin is also effective in combating other diseases and has demonstratedsignificant potential for the treatment of cancer and schistosomiasis (IUPAC, 2011; Shaikh and Hatcher, 2015). Moreover,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 isperceived 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 skindiseases. Africans also chew it to clean their teeth and it works as well asbrushing with toothpaste, and supposed to be healthier for the gums. More so,the plant Curcuma Longa is perceived to be effective in the treatment ofmany mental disease (Davies,2014).