Author Identifier

Diana Arabiat

ORCID : 0000-0003-2325-0398

Lisa Whitehead

ORCID : 0000-0002-6395-0279

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Global Qualitative Nursing Research




School of Nursing and Midwifery




Edith Cowan University - Open Access Support Scheme 2021

University of Jordan, Amman

Arak University of Medical Sciences, Iran


Arabiat, D., Whitehead, L., Gaballah, S., Nejat, N., Galal, E., Sabah, E. A., . . . Khlaif, R. (2021). The use of complementary medicine during childbearing years: A multi-country study of women from the Middle East. Global Qualitative Nursing Research. Advance online publication.


The prevalence of self-prescribed complementary medicine (CM) use is an area of concern across the Middle East. We conducted a descriptive qualitative study to describe women’s use of CM during their childbearing years in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Iran. The study conducted using face to face audio-recorded interviews with 70 participants. Our findings showed that women used several herbal plants to ease pain and discomfort during menstruation and/or during pregnancy and in postpartum care. Acupuncture, meditation, and massage were less likely to be used by women. The impact of CM was often described in relation to perceived usefulness and safety of herbs. Cultural beliefs and roles of women contributed to the use of herbs among women. Given the high use of herbal medicine, there is a need for discussion about the potential of adverse effects of some plants or their metabolites following self-medication during the childbearing years.



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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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