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Role of AYUSH Therapies in Modern Medicine: A Qualitative Study to Explore the Awareness and Attitudes of Doctors Towards the Utilization of Alternate System of Medicine for Diabetes Mellitus

Authors Ojha A, Ojha U, Ojha H, Chandrashekar A, Mohammed R, Trivedi R, Ugaonkar S, Desai M, Sreevidya R, Sahu P

Received 24 June 2019

Accepted for publication 6 December 2019

Published 13 January 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1—8


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Ashutosh Ojha, 1 Utkarsh Ojha, 2 Harsh Ojha, 3 Abhinaya Chandrashekar, 2 Raihan Mohammed, 4 Rudra Trivedi, 1 Sharvari Ugaonkar, 1 Manan Desai, 1 Ramesh Sreevidya, 1 Pratiksha Sahu 1

1Shobhaben Pratapbhai Patel School of Pharmacy & Technology Management, SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, India; 2Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, London, UK; 3Department of Life Sciences, University of Warwick, Warwick, UK; 4Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Correspondence: Utkarsh Ojha
Imperial College School of Medicine, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK
Tel +44 7759667685

Objective: To understand doctors’ attitude to and awareness of AYUSH therapies for the treatment of diabetes mellitus (DM).
Methods: This qualitative study, using a usage-and-attitude survey, was conducted in secondary centers across Mumbai, India. The study surveyed 77 physicians, including those specializing in diabetes.
Results: The majority of doctors were aware of Ayurveda (69%) and Homeopathy (52%). Some doctors were aware of Unani (34%) and Siddha (32%). Most doctors (60%) thought that Ayurveda was effective in some way. Almost all doctors (97%) thought that allopathic medicine was effective for DM. The majority of doctors (68%) had not recommended AYUSH therapies as an adjunct to modern medicines. Approximately half of the doctors (52%) believed that AYUSH therapies posed a safety concern for patients and 46% thought that AYUSH therapies could not be used to manage any form of DM. A large group of doctors thought that the main barrier preventing AYUSH therapies from being integrated into current allopathic management of DM was the lack of strong scientific evidence and clinical trials.
Conclusion: The majority of doctors are aware to some degree of Ayurveda and homeopathic forms of treatment. The majority believe that AYUSH therapies pose a safety concern for patients and have no role in treatment for any form of DM. The most common barrier preventing AYUSH therapies from becoming a mainstream treatment option for DM is the lack of scientific evidence. From this sample, it seems that greater efforts are required to conduct research into the efficacy and safety of AYUSH therapies to ensure that doctors are able to provide holistic care for patients with DM.

Keywords: diabetes mellitus, complementary medicine, public health, governmental policy, patient care

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