Attitudes, Knowledge and Practice of Herbal Remedy Use among the Population Visiting Pharmacies and Health Care Providers in Alexandria, Egypt: A Cross-Sectional Study
European Journal of Medicinal Plants,
Aims: To show the levels of awareness, attitude, practices and socioeconomic factors related to consuming herbal products among Alexandrian citizen visiting pharmacies. The findings of this study are meant also to show the practices and beliefs of healthcare providers regarding using herbal remedies in treatment, including advising patients, reporting adverse effects and possessing knowledge about specific herb-drug interactions.
Study Design: people visiting pharmacies as well as pharmacists in their pharmacies and physicians in their clinics were invited to complete a questionnaire about their knowledge and personal experience in the consumption of herbal remedy. Anonymity was guaranteed. Questionnaire consists of three parts: demographic data, personal experience and a part concerning health care providers.
Place and Duration of Study: Study area is the city of Alexandria, Egypt from the 1st July through September 2018.
Methodology: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study that used a self-administered, questionnaire from 213 participants (153+ 60 health care providers HCPs).
Results: Almost half the respondents preferred to be treated with herbs because they believed that herbs are safe. But they are not the proper choice to cure chronic diseases. Only 25% of herb users recorded suffering from side effects. The most common source of information about herbs was via internet, followed by family and friends, television and other types of media. Herbal remedies were purchased mainly from outlets other than pharmacies. The willingness to buy such products was not affected by participants’ education level or their monthly income. The public didn’t feel it’s important to mention any herbal remedy they consume to their physician; similarly HCPs did not ask them. Generally, it was shown that HCPs have inadequate knowledge about herbs.
Conclusion: The prevalence of herb usage is moderate among the Alexandrian population. And it is imperative to educate HCPs about the benefits, risks and interactions of herbal supplements.