Research: BORMANN and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 183

Abstract

BORMANN and COLLEAGUES, VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California, USA conducted a descriptive cross-sectional  study to explore the factors associated with CAM use in HIV-infected men in the USA.

Background

Methodology

This descriptive, cross-sectional study explored the factors associated with frequency and intensity of complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) use in 301 HIV-infected men from southern California (n=75) and northern Florida/southern Georgia (n=226). Logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify which demographic, biomedical, psychosocial, and health behaviour variables (risk and health-promoting behaviours) were predictors of CAM use and intensity of use.

Results

The majority (69%) of participants reported CAM use. The types of CAM most frequently cited were dietary supplements (71%) and spiritual therapies (66%). Odds of CAM use increased with more depressive symptoms and more health-promoting behaviours. The odds of CAM use intensity increased with greater symptom frequency and more health-promoting behaviours. Living in California was predictive of both use frequency and intensity of CAM use.

Conclusion

High levels of CAM use should alert health care providers to assess CAM use and to incorporate CAM-related patient education into their clinical practices.

References

Bormann JE,  Uphold CR and  Maynard C. Predictors of complementary/alternative medicine use and intensity of use among men with HIV infection from two geographic areas in the United States. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care20(6): 468-80. Nov-Dec 2009.

Comment

This research has a built-in bias against complementary therapies, as though the use of nutritional and herbal supplements or spiritual practices were inherently harmful and would supplant or compromise the health of individuals with HIV.

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