Factors affecting the use of herbal products in patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and their results: case-control study

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Gemcioglu E., Yılmaz Cakmak N., BAŞER S., Kocaoz S., ERSOY O.

BMC gastroenterology, vol.22, no.1, pp.43, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12876-022-02125-z
  • Journal Name: BMC gastroenterology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Page Numbers: pp.43
  • Keywords: Irritable bowel syndrome, Herbal therapy, Audio-visual media
  • Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022. The Author(s).BACKGROUND: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disease that is characterized by abdominal pain, discomfort, and changes in the frequency and form of stool without any organic pathology. In this study, the factors that affect the herbal treatment choices of IBS patients and their results were investigated. METHODS: Included in the study were 248 IBS patients who were over the age of 18. A questionnaire that comprised 25 questions was applied to the participants. Survey questions were asked to the participants regarding their age, place of birth, gender, educational status, demographic details, social standing, socioeconomic status and job, place of residence, and marital status. In addition, The participants were asked about which IBS symptoms they had, from whom they had received the recommendation for use of herbal products, whether the media had an effect on their selection of herbal products, and whether they had benefited from herbal products. RESULTS: It was observed that 41.1% of the patients with IBS who participated in the study used herbal medicine, 9.8% of whom used them regularly. It was found that the IBS patients participating in the study made their decision to use herbal products mostly based on the recommendations that they were given by acquaintances (57%) and the media (34%). When the patients were evaluated according to their gender, IBS was found to be more common in unemployed women who had a low level of education, while it was more common in working men (p = 0.015, P < 0.001, respectively). The IBS patients who were single used more herbal products that those who were married (P = 0.036). While the use of herbal herbs and oils was predominant in patients whose recommendation content comprised the media/internet and acquaintances, the herbal treatment content recommended by healthcare professionals consisted of traditional treatments and mixtures (P = 0.012). It was determined that a higher percentage of those who used herbal treatments lived in city centers when compared to those who did not (P < 0.001). In addition, it was determined that patients with constipation used herbal products more than those without (P < 0.001). Among the IBS patients, those who had diarrhea and those who were receiving medical treatment preferred to use significantly less herbal products (P = 0.007 and P = 0.041, respectively). It was found that the patients who visited the Gastroenterology Outpatient Clinic mostly used herbal therapy, while those who visited a family doctor used herbal therapy the least (P = 0.029 and P < 0.001, respectively). CONCLUSION: The IBS patients revealed whose recommendations they followed when purchasing herbal products, which of the products they preferred, and how useful/beneficial they felt that these products were. In this regard, the addition of training curricula related to herbal treatment for professional healthcare workers will further raise awareness on this topic.