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Ophthalmology. 2002 Mar;109(3):438-43.

Prevalence of the use of complementary and alternative medicine for glaucoma.

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  • 1Glaucoma Service, Wills Eye Hospital, Thomas Jefferson University, 900 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To estimate the prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for glaucoma, explore possible demographic and disease-related associations, and inquire about the perceived benefit of these treatments.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS:

One thousand twenty-seven consecutive patients from two urban, referral glaucoma practices.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Use of CAM specifically for glaucoma.

RESULTS:

The response rate was 97.4%. The percentage of people reporting use of CAM for glaucoma was 5.4% (54 of 1000 subjects) with 32 of these 54 (59%) having used more than one type. The percentages of those using the various types of nontraditional medicine were: megavitamin therapy (62.9%), herbal therapy (57.4%), exercise (24.0%), diet modification (22.2%), meditation, (1.8%), acupuncture (1.8%), faith healing (1.8%), and homeopathic remedies (1.8%). Patients who used CAM were more likely to be educated beyond high school (P = 0.0014) and less likely to be retired (P = 0.0053). Use of nontraditional therapy was not strongly associated with race (P = 0.044), age (P = 0.062), gender (P = 0.24), length of diagnosis (P = 0.91), or number of glaucoma medications (P = 0.58). Of those using nontraditional therapy, 52% believed that it was helpful, 39% were unsure, and 9% considered it not helpful; 72% discussed their use with an ophthalmologist. Seventy percent discovered it from sources other than providers of either traditional or nontraditional care.

CONCLUSIONS:

The prevalence of CAM use for glaucoma was 5.4% (95% confidence interval, 4.0%--6.4%). Most glaucoma patients currently cared for by ophthalmologists do not use nontraditional medicine.

Comment in

PMID:
11874744
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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