Allergic Diseases Department, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara University, Ankara, Turkey. email@example.com
Although complementary and alternative medicines are frequently used in Turkey, no studies with large series have yet been published.
Our aim was to determine the prevalences of the use of various types of complementary and alternative medicines in patients with asthma, seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) and chronic urticaria (CU) and the relationship between the use of these substances and patients' social, economic and demographic characteristics.
All patients completed a questionnaire about the use of complementary and alternative medicines, including herbal products, animal products, acupuncture, yoga, massage therapies, Turkish-baths, speleotherapy, and psychoreligious methods for curing their diseases.
The overall use of complementary and alternative medicines was 38 %. The most common alternative therapy treatment was herbal therapy (30.5 %). The prevalence of the use of these therapies was higher in asthmatics than in patients with SAR and CU. In all patients, variables associated with the use of these therapies were older age and having asthma. Among asthmatics, the use of these therapies within the previous 12 months was higher in patients with hospitalization and acute attacks than in those without hospitalization or acute attacks. In this group important covariates in the use of complementary and alternative medicines were older age and severe disease. Approximately half of the patients and 41.2 % of asthmatics discontinued pharmacological therapy during alternative treatment or had not yet started it.
Because of the high prevalence of the use of complementary and alternative medicines and the tendency to discontinue drug therapy during these treatments, patients should be educated about the importance of pharmacological therapies.
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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