Study Objective. To evaluate the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the El Paso, Texas, region.
Design. Prospective observational study conducted from April-October 2000.
Setting. Several hospitals and clinics.
Subjects. Five hundred forty-seven participants.
Intervention. Semi-structured interview with a bilingual questionnaire.
Measurements and Main Results. Complementary and alternative medicine was used in 77% of our population. The most common CAM providers were massage therapists (19.4%) and herbalists (12.4%). The most common herbal or home remedies were chamomile (13.1%) and aloe vera (8.5%). The most common nutritional or commercial products were multivitamins (16%), ginseng (3.6%), and ginkgo biloba (2.8%). We identified 599 CAM usages that could result in drug interactions, disease interactions, or adverse reactions.
Conclusions. A wide range of CAM use was documented in this study. Our results indicate that Hispanics in this area use CAM at a higher rate than national trends. Many of these therapies can adversely affect a variety of disease states and drug therapies.