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M. B. Pantcheva, M. Y. Kahook, M. C. Herceg, L. Camejo, J. S. Schuman, R. J. Noecker; A Descriptive Cross-Sectional Survey Assessing the Demographic Variations in the Prevalence of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Patients visiting UPMC Eye Center. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):639.
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To determine the prevalence, demographic characteristics, perceived benefits, and motivation for using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM - vitamins, herbal remedies and dietary supplements) among patients with various eye problems.
Two hundred patients were asked to answer interview questions and the responses were recorded by a single interviewer on a standard questionnaire form.
Of the 200 patients (117 women and 83 men) surveyed, 139 (69.50%) were using CAM. The average age of the participants was 60.98 (+/- 17.12) years. 63.31% of the women and 36.39% of the men (p = 0.037) were using CAM. 60.00% were using vitamins, 36.50 % were using dietary supplements, and 13.50% were using herbal remedies. 12.95% were using all three types of CAM, 32.37% were using two of the three different types of CAM, and 54.68% were using at least one type of CAM. Women were more likely to use two or more different types of CAM - 54.54% of the women compared to 29.41% of the men (p = 0.016). 71.94% of the patients took CAM to boost their general health. 45.32% of the patients using any type of CAM found them helpful for their general health, 2.88% thought that CAM did not improve their health, and 51.80% did not know if there had been any benefit. 49.64% of the patients using CAM had been advised to do so by a physician.
More than half of the surveyed patients were using CAM, predominantly for non-serious medical conditions, health promotion or disease prevention. Women were significantly more likely to take CAM than men. The patients were taking mostly vitamins, followed by dietary supplements, and herbal remedies. More then half of the patients were using only one type of CAM. Women were inclined to use more than one type of CAM, while men used primarily one type (vitamins). Race and marital status had no significant impact on CAM usage.
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