The majority of hospital patients are using alternative remedies and therapies 'on the quiet' in order to get well, a new study has discovered. Faith healing, chiropractic, aromatherapy and native healing are regularly being used by patients, most of whom say they were helped by the therapy.
The extent of the use of alternative medicine has been uncovered by a researcher who questioned 172 parents of patients at a children's hospital in Canada. Of these, 64 per cent were actively using some alternative or complementary product, including multivitamins, vitamin C and calcium.
But a large minority were also using alternative therapies; 37 per cent had used massage, 25 per cent faith healing, 20 per cent chiropractic, 15 per cent aromatherapy and 7 per cent Aboriginal healing.
Very few had any regrets after using the therapies, and most said they had been helped by them-but around a third of them hadn't told hospital staff, says the researcher, Sunita Vohra, a paediatrician based at the University of Alberta.
(Source: CMAJ Open, 2014; 2: e217)