Social network and complementary/alternative medicine use among pregnant women in Ogbia Communities of Rivers and Bayelsa States, Nigeria

Endurance Uzobo, Tolulope F Ojo, Richard D Agbana, Adekunle O Kunle-Olowu


Background: The role of social network in influencing different aspects of health behaviour is a growing aspect of social medicine. However, this issue has not received much attention concerning CAM use. Thus, there are very few studies that have attempted to address the influence of social network on CAM use. Hence, the main objective of this study is to examine the role of social network in Complementary and Alternative Medicine use among pregnant women.

Methods: The study is a cross-sectional study conducted among 361 pregnant women in the South-south region of Nigeria, using the questionnaire and in-depth interview, while analysis was done at the univariate, bivariate and multivariate level and thematic content analysis.

Results: Findings from the study showed that, while individual network had a weak influence on the use of CAM, social networks variables jointly predicted the extent of CAM use (R = 0.719, 16R2"> = 0.517, F(5, 136)= 29.162, Adj. 16R2">  = 0.500, p<0.000). In addition, while family (β = .770, p<0.001), friends (β = -.688, p<0.000), religious organisations (β =.508, p<0.000), neighbours (β = -.725, p<0.000) as sources of CAM information independently predicted CAM use, co-workers did not.

Conclusion: The study concluded that though individual social network might have minimal influence in the use of CAM, a combination of social network tools could be a potent tool in influencing the complementary and alternative medicine choices of pregnant women. Therefore, health planning and development should consider social networks variables in designing health programmes and policies.


Social networks, Complementary and alternative medicine, Ogbia, Family, Religious Organization.

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ISSN 2308-7854 (online); ISSN 0850-5780 (print)

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