Revista Brasileira de Hematologia e Hemoterapia
versão impressa ISSN 1516-8484
JAIME-PEREZ, José Carlos et al. Use of complementary and alternative medicine by patients with hematological diseases: experience at a university hospital in northeast Mexico. Rev. Bras. Hematol. Hemoter. [online]. 2012, vol.34, n.2, pp. 103-108. ISSN 1516-8484. http://dx.doi.org/10.5581/1516-8484.20120031.
BACKGROUND: Complementary and alternative medicine includes a diverse group of medical and healthcare systems, practices and products not considered part of conventional medicine. Although there is information on unconventional practices in oncological diseases, specific data regarding the use of complementary and alternative medicine by hematology patients is scarce. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study is to document the prevalence of this modality of unconventional therapy in patients with malignant and benign hematological diseases, particularly children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. METHODS: An observational study of adult patients and guardians of children with malignant or benign hematological diseases was carried out by applying a structured questionnaire detailing the use and results of the most prevalent complementary and alternative medicine practices. RESULTS: One hundred and twenty patients were included; 104 had malignant and 16 had benign hematological diseases. The use of complementary and alternative medicine was greater in benign diseases but the difference was not statistically significant (64.7% versus 41.7%; p-value = 0.08). Patients and guardians with high school or college educations used these alternative practices more than patients with less schooling (60.7% versus 54.7%; p-value = 0.032). The use of folk remedies was most prevalent followed by herbal preparations and spiritual healing. Sixty-four percent of patients that used these unconventional practices reported improvement in their symptoms and increased capacity to perform daily activities. CONCLUSION: No significant difference was documented between patients with malignant or benign hematological diseases using these alternative practices. The majority of complementary and alternative medicine users reported improvement of the disease or chemotherapy-related symptoms.
Palavras-chave : complementary therapies; herbal medicine; medicine; traditional; hematologic diseases.