The aim of the present study was to assess the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments in outpatients with cardiovascular disease and their interest in future use. The increasing popularity of CAM therapies highlights the need to explore their use among patients with cardiovascular disease. Data were collected with a prospective, point-of-care, anonymous, 17-question survey about basic medical information and previous use and interest in the future use of dietary supplements and other CAM interventions among patients undergoing outpatient cardiology evaluation at a Midwestern tertiary care center. The survey was completed by 1,055 patients (655 men, 351 women; mean age 63.5 years) of whom 98.1% were white. Of these, 36.8% had cardiac symptoms for >10 years, 48.2% had coronary artery disease, and 82.5% reported use of CAM therapies. Of these patients, 75.4% reported using dietary supplements, 31.5% chiropractic therapy, 23.9% mind-body therapies, and 19.2% massage. Only 14.4% had discussed the use of CAM treatments with their physicians. The top 4 treatments used for cardiac symptoms were relaxation techniques, stress management, meditation, and guided imagery. Also, 48.6% were interested in participating in a future clinical trial of an alternative treatment. The great majority of patients seen in current practice use CAM therapies, and a large proportion expressed an interest in participating in research with CAM therapies. In conclusion, research directed with an integrative approach to cardiovascular care might prove beneficial when designing future studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine