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J Altern Complement Med. 2014 Sep;20(9):686-92. doi: 10.1089/acm.2013.0329. Epub 2014 Aug 15.

Complementary and alternative medicine use in infertility: cultural and religious influences in a multicultural Canadian setting.

Author information

1
1 Department of Psychiatry, McGill University , Montreal, Quebec, Canada .

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To explore the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for infertility in a multicultural healthcare setting and to compare Western and non-Western infertility patients' reasons for using CAM and the meanings they attribute to CAM use.

DESIGN:

Qualitative semi-structured interviews using thematic analysis.

SETTINGS/LOCATION:

Two infertility clinics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

PARTICIPANTS:

An ethnoculturally varied sample of 32 heterosexual infertile couples.

RESULTS:

CAM used included lifestyle changes (e.g., changing diet, exercise), alternative medicine (e.g., acupuncture, herbal medicines), and religious methods (e.g., prayers, religious talismans). Patients expressed three attitudes toward CAM: desperate hope, casual optimism, and amused skepticism. PARTICIPANTS' CAM use was consistent with cultural traditions of health and fertility: Westerners relied primarily on biomedicine and used CAM mainly for relaxation, whereas non-Westerners' CAM use was often influenced by culture-specific knowledge of health, illness and fertility.

CONCLUSIONS:

Understanding patients' CAM use may help clinicians provide culturally sensitive, patient-centered care.

PMID:
25127071
PMCID:
PMC4155414
DOI:
10.1089/acm.2013.0329
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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