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October 2022

J Adolesc Health. 1992 Nov; 13(7): 612-5.

Use of nonmedical treatment by cystic fibrosis patients.

Stern RC, Canda ER, Doershuk CF.

Department of Pediatrics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

To determine frequency, perceived effectiveness, and cost of religious, physical, and other nonmedical practices, we interviewed all (n = 402; 100% participation) of our cystic fibrosis patients/families [age, 0-45 (median, 18) years]. At least one type of nonmedical therapy was used by/on 264 (66%), two-thirds of which was religious. Most respondents perceived benefit (e.g., group prayer, 95%; religious articles, 81%; chiropractic, 69%). Only 17 (4.2%) invested over $200 lifetime (minimal compared with medical costs). These treatments, apparently used by most patients/families, rarely interfered with medical care. Physician openness and empathy toward patients' beliefs might enhance rapport and facilitate discussion of possible helpful or adverse effects of nonmedical treatment.

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