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The use of nonprescribed treatments by hemodialysis patients.
In an attempt to examine the extent to which a specific chronically ill population might be engaged in self care through the use of nonprescribed treatments, 230 adult hemodialysis patients in Hawaii were interviewed. Information about the use of various treatment methods was correlated with sociodemographic characteristics, and the chi-square test of significance was applied to selective findings. Within this multiethnic patient population, 74% indicated they had tried one or more nonprescribed treatments for their kidney failure, and the majority of individuals judged their efforts to be effective. Ethnicity was not a significant determinant in the tendency to use nonprescribed treatments, although it influenced the selection of specific methods. Other sociodemographic characteristics were also found to be of minimal value as predictors of this type of help seeking behavior. The illness experience itself overrides many of the sociocultural factors in this study.