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Scand J Prim Health Care. 2001 Dec;19(4):237-40.

Doctor-patient discussions of alternative medicine for back pain.

Author information

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, USA. jneher@vmc.fammed.washington.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To document the frequency of conversations about alternative medicine during primary care consultations for back pain in diverse settings.

DESIGN:

"Exit interview" type patient survey.

SETTINGS:

General practices in Seattle, Washington; rural Israel; and Birmingham, England.

PATIENTS:

A convenience sample of 218 adults completing a doctor visit for back pain.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Frequencies of doctor-patient discussions of alternative medicine.

RESULTS:

Alternative medicine was discussed in a minority of visits (US site 40%, Israel site 37%, UK site 14%, p < 0.05). At each site, patients initiated at least half of the discussions. Users were five to six times more likely to discuss alternative medicine with their doctor than non-users (p < 0.05 for comparison at each site). The percentage of patients who used alternative medicine but left the consultation without discussing it was similar at all sites (US site 17%, Israel site 23%, UK site 15%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Discussions of alternative medicine occurred in a minority of consultations for back pain although the rate varied considerably by site. Discussions were initiated primarily by patients who use it.

PMID:
11822647
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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