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Keywords:

  • approach;
  • complementary medicine;
  • experience;
  • local population;
  • questionnaire

Abstract

Purpose

To characterize the local population that turns to complementary medicine.

Methods

Participants were selected randomly: Medicine [A] (201 patients); Surgery [B] (100 patients); Control [C] (128 patients). The answers to the first two questions determined whether the questionnaire was to be completed.

Results

More females sought complementary medicine treatment, with no significant demographic differences among the groups. Nearly 20% of the subjects had academic education while 43% had completed high school. The results of the 16 significant questions were statistically different when comparing groups C and A (p = 0.025) and B (p = 0.011) respectively. A total of 16%, 12.4% and 9% of the subjects respectively preferred a physician MD as their complementary medicine practitioner and 49% [C], 34% [A] and 29% [B] respectively, favored teaching complementary medicine in medical and nursing schools.

Conclusions

A total of 37% [C], 21% [B] and 27% [A] of the subjects experienced complementary medicine intervention at least once. The percentage of individuals holding academic degrees was higher in the group utilizing complementary medicine than those who did not. Only 21% of C and A groups and 12% of B group knew about adverse reactions to complementary therapies. More than 30% favored ‘legalizing’ complementary medicine. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.