Use of Alt Med Not Rejection of MD's

Use of Alternative Therapy Not a Rejection of MDs [07/23/2001; Reuters Health]

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women diagnosed with breast cancer are likely to use some form of complementary medicine such as meditation or herbal medicines, not because of dissatisfaction with traditional medical care but to supplement their health, researchers report.

``Women use complementary and alternative medicines not to reject Western medicine, but to become a more healthy person,'' lead author Susan Alferi, a doctoral student in psychology at the University of Miami at Coral Gables, told Reuters Health.

''They're not seeking complementary medicine because they're dissatisfied with their physicians.'' The team of psychologists talked to a group of 231 women who had been diagnosed with breast cancer within the past year. The women filled out a questionnaire asking them whether they had ever used any kind of complementary therapy, which included healing therapies such as meditation, acupuncture or herbal medications, and psychological therapies such as psychotherapy or a J support group.

The investigators found that more than half of the women reported using some form of complementary medicine.

The most popular form of healing therapy was meditation, which was used by 30% of the women, while only 1% had used acupuncture.

Around one third of the women reported using some type of psychological therapy.

J American Medical Women's Association, 56, 2001

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