Patterns of complementary and alternative medicine use among a group of patients with type 2 diabetes receiving outpatient care in Singapore

Peijin Esther Monica Fan*, Moon Fai Chan, Yoke Ling Chan, Siew Lin Serena Koh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to identify patterns and evaluate factors associated with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among type 2 diabetes patients in Singapore. A cross-sectional descriptive study using a self-administered questionnaire was performed among type 2 diabetes patients at an outpatient diabetes centre, and participants' medical records were accessed for diabetes complications and conventional medicine for managing diabetes. Among 304 participants, 43.4% used CAM and 61.2% did not inform health-care professionals of their CAM use. Three most common CAM were nutritional supplements, Chinese herbal medicine and massage. Friends (44.2%), partner and family (38%) were top sources of information for CAM, whereas factors significantly associated with CAM use were gender (P=0.049), total monthly household income (P=0.048) and frequency of self-monitoring of blood glucose (P=0.036). Results highlight a need for improved health-care professionals-patients communication and for health-care professionals to be educated on CAM to provide relevant education to patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-55
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Practice
Issue numberSUPPL.3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Alternative medicine
  • Complementary medicine
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Singapore
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

Cite this