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Patients’ use of alternative methods parallel to psychiatric therapy: does the migrational background matter?

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Abstract:

Assion HJ, Zarouchas I, Multamäki S, Zolotova J, Schröder SG. Patients’ use of alternative methods parallel to psychiatric therapy: does the migrational background matter? Objective: 

Unconventional medicine is widespread in nearly every culture and often used parallel to professional help. This survey evaluates the use of unconventional methods of psychiatric in-patients with vs. without a background of migration. Method: 

A total of 167 psychiatric in-patients underwent a structured interview. One hundred patients were migrants (group 1) and were compared with 67 German in-patients (group 2). Results: 

Nearly 50% of all patients reported of at least one unconventional therapy. Both migrants and natives used healing methods parallel to professional help. The migrant group rathered to use folk medical concepts and the native group rathered alternative medicine. Around half of the patients with experience of complementary therapy believed it to be efficacious. Conclusion: 

The results suggest that nearly half of the psychiatric patients use alternative medicine and a quarter believe in its efficacy. People with a more traditional background tend to use folk medical practices.

Keywords: alternative medicine; complementary therapies; culture; mental health; migrants

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0447.2007.01010.x

Publication date: 2007-09-01

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