This journal only 2006, Number 4 Cir Gen 2006; 28 (4) Alternative medicine use in surgical patients: Frequency González FRF, Ruiz CMI Full text How to cite this article Language: Spanish References: 24 Page: 238-241 PDF size: 67.00 Kb. Key words: Alternative medicine, complementary medicine, nutritional supplements, surgery. ABSTRACT Objective: To determine the frequency of using alternative medicine by surgical patients. Setting: Private specialties hospital. Design: Prospective, longitudinal, observational study. Statistical analysis: Percentages as summary measure for qualitative variables. Material and methods: We applied a questionnaire to 300 adult surgical patients subjected to elective or non-traumatic emergency surgery. Assessed variables were: Gender, age, occupation, educational level, aggregated illness, surgical procedure, use of alternative medicine. Results: There were 200 women and 100 men, mean age of 58, median 61 (18-83) years; 39.66% were housewives, 26.66% had a professional education. School level: Primary, 7.6%; junior high school, 7.1%, senior high school or equivalent, 18.2%; undergraduate and graduate school, 64.3%. Two-thirds of the patients had one aggregated disease or symptom. The performed procedures were divided according to the specialty as follows: 43.8% general surgery 26.3% gyneco-obstetrics, 9.8% urology, 4.4% cardiothoracic surgery, 4.1% plastic and reconstructive surgery, 3.1% otorhinolaryngology, 2.9% oncology, and 2.9% orthopedics. From the studied group of patients, 58.33% accepted having taken some type of alternative treatment, 41.66% denied having used any. The most frequent treatments used were: 45% consumed teas (for therapeutic reasons), 20% nutritional supplements, 25% homeopathy, 15% Noni juice, 7% weight loss products. Only 10% of the interviewed reported having used them to the physician. 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