Complementary and alternative medicine use in infertility: cultural and religious influences in a multicultural Canadian setting.
J Altern Complement Med. 2014 Sep;20(9):686-92
Authors: Read SC, Carrier ME, Whitley R, Gold I, Tulandi T, Zelkowitz P
OBJECTIVES: To explore the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)
for infertility in a multicultural healthcare setting and to compare Western and non-Western infertility patients' reasons for using CAM and the meanings they attribute to CAM use.
DESIGN: Qualitative semi-structured interviews using thematic analysis.
SETTINGS/LOCATION: Two infertility clinics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
PARTICIPANTS: An ethnoculturally varied sample of 32 heterosexual infertile couples.
RESULTS: CAM used included lifestyle changes (e.g., changing diet, exercise), alternative medicine (e.g., acupuncture
, herbal medicines), and religious methods (e.g., prayers, religious talismans). Patients expressed three attitudes toward CAM: desperate hope, casual optimism, and amused skepticism. PARTICIPANTS' CAM use was consistent with cultural traditions of health and fertility: Westerners relied primarily on biomedicine and used CAM mainly for relaxation, whereas non-Westerners' CAM use was often influenced by culture-specific knowledge of health, illness and fertility.
CONCLUSIONS: Understanding patients' CAM use may help clinicians provide culturally sensitive, patient-centered care.
PMID: 25127071 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]