Although the popularity of complementary indigenous Malay therapies (CIMT) in general healthcare is undeniable in the Malaysian context today, their usage within the palliative care scenarios remains unexplored. Our study was specifically embarked to determine CIMT’s usage pattern, reasons, attitudes, beliefs, perceptions and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) differences (users vs. non-users) in a sample of hospice-based palliative patients in Selangor, Malaysia. From the 39 consenting patients (mean age = 56 years; female = 56.4 percent; Malay = 53.8 percent), 38.5 percent were users of CIMT. Dried medicinal roots, herbs and sea cucumber products were the most preferred types of CIMT (53.3 percent). The most common reason cited for usage was because these were "easier and simpler to be administered" (46.7 percent). Although users' attitudes, beliefs and perceptions were more favourable than the non-users, between 30.0-73.3 percent of users remained unsure or had no knowledge regarding CIMT. They also exhibited significantly poorer Physical Symptoms than the non-users (p=0.006), a probable motive for seeking CIMT in the first place. Despite the small sample size, the findings provided some insight into the role of CIMT especially with regard to usage trends and overall well-being among the terminally-ill, of which healthcare professionals should constantly be vigilant of amidst their routine care responsibilities.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.