This study aimed to determine the frequency and pattern of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in thalassemia patients in south of Iran. The survey was done using a validated questionnaire which was distributed among 122 thalassemia patients. Only 108 questionnaires were completed and turned back (response rate 88.5%). Patients referred to an outpatient thalassemia clinic in Shiraz, southern Iran for blood transfusion. The mean age of the patients was 22.9 ± 7.9 years (range 4-45 years) with female/male ratio 1.84. Seventy four (68.5%) of the responders used CAM at least once during their life, and about half of them used it concurrently with their conventional treatments. The most reported CAM product was mint juice (50%). The most common reason of CAM use was increased general health. The most common information source about CAM was physicians who were the most trusted source as well. CAM is frequently being used in thalassemia patients to ensure their sense of well-being and help them overcome the complications of their illnesses.
Complementary and alternative medicine; Hemoglobinopathy; Iran; Thalassemia; Traditional Persian medicine