The use of complementary and alternative medicine by patients with chronic hepatitis C.
BACKGROUND: The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is expanding globally. However, prevalence of its use by patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) remains unclear. METHODS: An exploratory, descriptive study was conducted using a questionnaire and interview to describe the use of CAM by patients with CHC attending a liver clinic in the United States. RESULTS: Eighty percent (n = 120) had used CAM in the last 12 months, most often prayer for health reasons (63%), multivitamins (56%) and herbal medicine (25%). A higher level of education (p < 0.005), poorer health status (p < 0.002) and prior use of anti-viral therapy (p < 0.02) were predictors of CAM use. Participants used CAM to promote general health, but herbal medicine was used to treat CHC symptoms and prevent liver disease. CONCLUSION: Use of CAM is common among patients with CHC. Failure to acknowledge the use of CAM as a management strategy may restrict the health provider's ability to provide optimal care.
Richmond, JA; Bailey, DE; Patel, K; Jezsik, JA; Muir, A; Lin, J-R; Chow, S-C; Uzarski, D; McHutchison, JG
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