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Herbal medicine for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19: A cross-sectional study in Vietnam

  • At: PPR SIG 2021 (2021)
  • Type: Digital
  • By: TRAN, Van De (Can Tho University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Vietnam)
  • Co-author(s): Van De Tran, Duy Toan Pham, Thi Tai Nguyen Cao, Mohamed Bahlol, Rebecca Susan Dewey, Valeria V. Dorofeeva
  • Abstract:

    Introduction

    The importance of herbal medicine (HM) has been highlighted by healthcare professionals at international level. However, limited studies have covered the opinions and behaviors around the use of HM as protective measure and/or treatment against COVID-19 in Vietnam.

    Objectives

    The aim of the present study was to explore the predictors of and opinions around HM use to combat COVID-19 in Vietnam.

    Methods

    A cross-sectional online survey was conducted in Vietnamese adults between February and April 2021. Descriptive statistics, chi-squared tests, and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to address the study objectives.

    Results

    Out of 787 respondents, 368 (46.8%) reported that they had used HM or nutritional supplements to protect against or treat COVID-19 during the pandemic. Most people preferred HM for external use as a surface sanitizing agent or disinfectant. Lack of previous personal experience or sufficient expert advice were the main two barriers to using HM during the pandemic. People with high levels of education, who perceived their health status as being ‘very good’, or who were married were more likely to use HM to protect against or treat COVID-19. More than half the respondents had a positive opinion regarding the ingestion of vitamin C from natural resources. Respondents living in rural areas, or who perceived their health status as ‘very good’ were more likely to have a positive opinion in the ability of HM to protect against or treat COVID-19.

    Conclusion

    The use of herbal medicine to combat COVID-19 was a common practice among the Vietnamese people surveyed. We recommend that policy-makers aim to strategize the provision of HM across Vietnam and increase public knowledge and uptake of HM use. In addition, these findings are significant to manufacturers with the potential of developing HM-based products to address immediate and future need.

Last update 4 October 2019

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