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J Holist Nurs. 1996 Dec;14(4):277-94.

Use of alternative therapies among Mexican Americans in the Texas Rio Grande Valley.

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  • University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, USA.


Alternative therapies have gained increasing recognition and usage in North America during the past decade. In a descriptive study with a convenience sample of 213 Mexican Americans, three research questions were asked: (1) What specific kinds of alternative therapies do Mexicans in the Rio Grande Valley use? (2) What percentage of the sample group uses alternative therapies? and (3) Do the users of alternative therapies self-report these visits to their established, conventional, primary health care provider? Findings showed that 44% of respondents had used an alternative practitioner one or more times during the previous year. The most commonly sought therapies were herbal medicine, spiritual healing and prayer, massage, relaxation techniques, chiropractic, and visits to a curandero (Mexican folk healer). The majority (66%) never report visits to alternative practitioners to their established primary health provider.

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