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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 217

of 'Complementary and alternative therapies for cancer'

217
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Delay in obtaining conventional healthcare by female internal medicine patients who use herbal therapies.
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Brienza RS, Stein MD, Fagan MJ
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J Womens Health Gend Based Med. 2002;11(1):79.
 
The use of herbal products has been studied in the general population, but few studies have focused on the prevalence of herbal therapy use for treatment of symptoms or disease among female internal medicine patients or on predictors for delaying obtaining conventional care while using herbal therapy. Cross-sectional 34-item self-report surveys were mailed to female patients in two private practice internal medicine sites and interviewer administered to patients in a resident ambulatory clinic. The survey included sociodemographics, medical problems, use of herbal therapies, and whether conventional care was delayed while using herbal therapy. Of 354 patients, 220 (62%) participated. Their mean age was 51 years, and most were Caucasian (77%) and had more than a high school education (60%). Of these, 81 (37%) women used herbal therapies for treatment of symptoms or disease, and use did not differ by study site. Twenty-six (32%) delayed obtaining conventional care while waiting for an herbal product to work, although most eventually obtained conventional care. In multivariate analysis, predictors for delay of care included negative experience with prescription medicines, history of failed treatments, and desire for increased control over personal healthcare. Among female patients of general internists, there was a high prevalence of herbal therapy use for treatment ofillness, and some women delay obtaining conventional care while using an herbal product. Predictors for delay may alert physicians to educate their patients before delaying care.
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Yale Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
PMID