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Schweiz Med Wochenschr. 1992 Dec; 122(51-52): 1954-6.

[Use of conventional and complementary medical care in patients with chronic non-cancerous pain]

Allaz AF, Robert A, Dayer P.

Département de médecine, Hôpital cantonal universitaire, Genève.

The use of medical care was surveyed among 157 chronic pain patients. Half of them had consulted more than 6 and up to 17 specialists in "conventional" medicine for their pain problem. Moreover, 46% had used "complementary" medicine. They had tried many different "alternative" therapies in 40% of the cases. The users of "complementary" medicine, mostly females, also sought care from a significantly higher number of "conventional" therapists, had more physiotherapy, took drugs more frequently and had tried a larger number of different medications, even though their pain characteristics were similar to those of the other patients studied. Interestingly, they remained significantly more active professionally than patients who had never used "complementary" medicine. These characteristics could be attributed to a more active manner of coping with chronic pain.

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