Research: MAGIN and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 128


MAGIN and colleagues, Discipline of General Practice, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia, have studied the use of CAM therapies in patients with skin disease.


The aim of this study was to explore the use of complementary and alternative medicine therapies in patients with acne, psoriasis, or atopic eczema and the attitudes about CAM of these patients.


In this qualitative study, utilizing semistructured interviews and thematic analysis, patients were recruited from the practices of dermatologists and general practitioners.


26 interviews were conducted with patients with acne, 29 with psoriasis, and 7 with atopic eczema. Use of CAM therapies was common. Participants tended to value CAM over orthodox therapies because of their preference for natural approaches to their skin diseases and the perceived lesser potential for adverse effects of CAM therapies. Respondents with acne were more confident about the efficacy of CAM than were those with psoriasis or eczema. The resulting sense of control attenuated psychological sequelae of acne.


Practitioners should be cognizant of the likely use of CAM and its implications (including the potential for attenuation of psychological problems) in their patients who have skin diseases.


Magin PJ, Adams J, Heading GS, Pond DC, Smith W. Complementary and alternative medicine therapies in acne, psoriasis, and atopic eczema: results of a qualitative study of patients' experiences and perceptions. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 12 (5): 451-457, Jun 2006.

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