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Ann Emerg Med. 2000 Mar;35(3):226-8.

Use of alternative therapies among emergency department patients.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY, USA.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE:

To assess emergency department patients' use of alternative therapies.

METHODS:

This study used a cross-sectional observational survey of a convenience sample of ED patients. A trained research assistant administered a written questionnaire asking patients about alternative therapies.

RESULTS:

Of the 139 patients surveyed, 78 (56%) had tried alternative therapies in the past, 68 (87%) of whom believed that they were effective. The most frequently tried alternative therapies were massage therapy (31%), chiropractic (30%), herbs (24%), meditation (19%), and acupuncture (15%). Most patients (70%) who tried alternative therapies did not inform their physicians of such practice.

CONCLUSION:

Most ED patients in our sample had tried alternative therapies and among these patients, most did not inform their physicians. Herbal therapy in particular had been tried by about 1 in 4 patients. Emergency physicians should routinely question their patients regarding the use of alternative therapies, particularly herbal preparations, which may cause adverse effects.

PMID:
10692188
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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