205195 Why I Don't Tell My Doctor: Assessing Patient-Provider communication on CAM use among a Latino population

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 1:10 PM

Juan Carlos Belliard, PhD, MPH , School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Rupinder Cheema, MPH(c) , School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Kathryn Knecht, PhD , School of Pharmacy, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Adriana Arzate, MPH , Dept. of Global Health, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University, Covina, CA
Susanne Montgomery, PhD , School of Public Health, Dept. Health Promotion & Ed, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Research on medical pluralism confirms that minority groups are likely to use the Biomedical system and the Complimentary/Alternative Medical (CAM) systems simultaneously. This report focuses on patient provider communication regarding herbal use among a first- generation Mexican immigrant patient population that practices medical pluralism in San Bernardino, California. Three focus groups and 201 Spanish language surveys were administered to assess herbal use patterns and patient-provider communication regarding herbal use among Latino patients. Findings reveal that 77% of patients using herbal products did not disclose their CAM use to their physician. When asked why patients did not disclose herbal use, a majority of patients responded that providers rarely asked about CAM use. According to the literature, common reasons that providers give for not inquiring about CAM use among minority patients include cultural/linguistic barriers, lack of CAM knowledge, and lack of confidence in knowing how to respond. Findings emphasize the need for providers to improve their knowledge, attitudes, and communication with CAM/herbal users. More cultural competency training and experience are needed to improve physician confidence and communication that will lead to more disclosure of CAM use among patients. Authors used these findings to implement an NIH sponsored “Ask & Tell” program at select community clinics. While CAM remains a controversial topic in the medical community, understanding health beliefs and practices of Latino patients is important for healthcare providers who wish to deliver optimal healthcare.

Learning Objectives:
-Increase understanding of medical pluralism among Mexican immigrants -Describe patterns of herbal use among Mexican patients –Develop strategies to increase patient-provider communication regarding CAM use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Education: B.S. in Biology (UCLA) M.P.H (c)(Loma Linda University) Employment: Research Coordinator, Project Access, Latino Health Collaborative Research Assistant, Department of Global Health, School of Public Health, Loma Linda University
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.