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J Rheumatol. 1994 Jan;21(1):145-7.

Attitudes to alternative medicine by rheumatology outpatient attenders.

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Department of Rheumatology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, Qld, Australia.



To determine the proportion of rheumatology outpatient attenders who have sought "alternative medicine" treatment and their satisfaction with these services compared with the conventional hospital clinic.


A questionnaire survey was distributed to 314 rheumatology outpatients of a tertiary referral teaching hospital: 280 (89%) were sufficiently complete for analysis.


114 patients (40%) had attended one or more alternative practitioners at some stage of their rheumatic illness. These patients were younger and statistically more satisfied with their treatment and doctor's attitude at the outpatient clinic than that received at the alternative center. They also believed their doctor was more approving of these visits and were equally satisfied with clinic treatment compared with patients who had never attended alternative therapists.


Patients with rheumatic diseases who choose to continue with conventional care are likely to be less satisfied with alternative medicine and more satisfied with hospital outpatient treatment. We should be aware that a significant number of patients will try or have tried these alternative treatments but continue to attend without prejudice to their ordinary care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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