Objective: The use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) has increased recently among those with serious mental disorders. However, CAM use and associated factors for using CAM are less clear among patients with bipolar I disorder (BD-I). This study aimed to determine the prevalence and type of CAM use and the sociodemographic, clinical features, and functional areas that predicted CAM use.
Method: A total of 121 BD-I patients were included in the study. The sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of the patients and their usage of CAM were examined using a standard form. The Young Mania and Hamilton Depression Rating Scales were used to assess their symptoms during the interview. The Bipolar Disorder Functioning Questionnaire (BDFQ) was used to evaluate patients’ functioning. We compared the data of CAM (+) and CAM (-). Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to evaluate CAM use in BD-I patients.
Results: Of the BD-I patients, 63.6% reported at least one CAM use, and the most preferred modality was religious/spiritual healing (54.5%). Our findings showed that education level, history of hypomania, BDFQ, emotional functioning, stigma, and occupational functionality predicted CAM use in patients with BD-I.
Conclusion: The study results revealed that about 6 out of 10 patients used CAM. The use of CAM by patients may result in serious or deadly consequences and treatment nonadherence. Therefore, clinicians need to be aware of their patients’ use of CAM. The descriptive findings of this study help complement the limited knowledge of CAM use among patients with BD-I.