Repository logo

The use of complementary and alternative medicine by staff and students of UKZN residing in eThekwini Municipality.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Healthcare can systematically be separated into current (conventional, orthodox, Western or allopathic) and traditional (indigenous, reciprocal, elective or integrative). The former is plainly characterised, with minor provincial varieties in its fundamental way of thinking and clinical techniques. In present day treatment, improvement on medicinal products is accomplished through scientific research, which can include worldwide joint effort and responsibility. Such research is all around bolstered monetarily by industry, governments and altruistic associations. This is in sharp contrast to the circumstance with traditional complementary and alternative medicine. CAM is a class of medication that incorporates an assortment of treatment approaches that fall outside the domain of conventional prescription. An expanding measure of research is being done to build up the proof and viability of alternative medication. Even with limited proof of safety, CAM use remains popular worldwide. This study therefore seeked to find out CAM use between staff and students of UKZN Durban campuses. This was a campus-based quantitative cross-sectional survey involving adult individuals. Data on the demographic characteristics of the participants, the reasons for CAM use, monthly expenditure on CAM, personal beliefs on CAM use were collected. In total, 229 participants were included in the study, and among them, approximately 42% were aged 21–30 years. Additionally, 69% of the participants were women, over 73% were of Black ethnic group, over 58% reside in a suburbs setting. There was correlation between the reasons for CAM use namely to treat/manage a condition or promote health and gender, where it was statistically significant at p< 0.001 level. However, no statistical evidence could be shown that there was dependence between using CAM and race/ethnic group. Highest education attained and the reasons for using CAM practices and products showed a significant correlation (p<0.001). Some of the cultural and religious influences were statistically significant (p<0.05) influencers to our participants for their healthcare practices. In conclusion, the use of CAM was quite significant in the study population, and the most used therapy was exercise which was followed by vitamins and minerals. Larger numbers of participants in future will help solidify or negate these findings.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.