Complementary and alternative medicine use by otolaryngology patients: a paradigm for practitioners in all surgical specialties

Shakeel, Muhammad; Trinidade, Aaron; Ah-See, Kim W.
June 2010
European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology;Jun2010, Vol. 267 Issue 6, p961
Academic Journal
There is growing interest in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) amongst the general population. Little information is available on CAM use in otolaryngology patients in the UK. Despite concerns over safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness, CAM use is common amongst ENT patients. Patients perceive these medications as possible boosters to their immune system. It is becoming increasingly important that health care providers in all specialties ask their patients about CAM use and are aware of the implications it carries. The objective is to study the prevalence and pattern of CAM use among adult and paediatric ENT patients in a UK teaching hospital. A cross-sectional study was done by sending anonymous questionnaire to all outpatient and elective inpatients over a 3-month period. Response rate was 73% (1,789/2,440). Prominent demographics: female, married, over-50 s. Sixty percent had used CAM, 35% in last year. Most common herbs: cod liver oil ( n = 481), garlic ( n = 255), cranberry ( n = 224); non-herbal: massage ( n = 287), acupuncture ( n = 233), aromatherapy ( n = 170). Most commonly cited reasons for using CAM: general health, enhanced immunity and prevention/treatment of common illnesses like the common cold, asthma and bodily aches and pains.


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