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Views regarding use of complementary therapies for acute respiratory infections: systematic review of qualitative studies

Views regarding use of complementary therapies for acute respiratory infections: systematic review of qualitative studies
Views regarding use of complementary therapies for acute respiratory infections: systematic review of qualitative studies
Background: unnecessary antibiotic prescribing and use are most common for uncomplicated acute respiratory infections (ARIs). Some Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) treatments have evidence of effectiveness for symptom relief and could be used instead of antibiotics.

Aim: to understand views of the general public and health professionals regarding use of CAM for uncomplicated ARIs.

Design and Setting: systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative studies.

Method: we systematically searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, AMED, COREHOM, CINAHL, Dissertation and theses global and Web of Science Core Collection. We included studies which reported qualitative data on the use of CAM for uncomplicated ARIs where participants were either patients or parents of patients, health professionals or the general public. Analysis followed thematic synthesis.

Results: twenty-two studies were included from four high-income and ten low-and-middle income countries; almost all focussed on non-White populations. Nineteen concerned parents’ treatment of ARIs in their children. In all settings, treatment decisions were influenced by beliefs about the illness (cause, severity), beliefs about treatments (efficacy, safety), availability of treatments and of trustworthy advice. Participants mostly thought CAM is an acceptable option for treatment of mild ARIs but felt that they need trustworthy advice on which treatments to use and when.

Conclusion: treatment decisions depend on beliefs about the illness and treatments, availability of treatments and advice. CAM treatments appear to be acceptable to people from many different settings as a possible alternative to antibiotics for mild ARIs. There is a need for reliable, evidence-based advice on which treatments to use.
Qualitative; Complementary medicine; respiratory infections
0965-2299
Willcox, Merlin
dad5b622-9ac2-417d-9b2e-aad41b64ffea
Donovan, Emily
b7b59e0a-40f0-43a3-aa52-e832f72db058
Hu, Xiaoyang
65904b24-3775-4b14-9532-eb703a056655
Elboray, Shereen
abdb4db8-8aeb-40f2-8b30-fbeae56e20c7
Jerrard, Naomi
34089709-b8c3-4d94-9b49-e1fda971df50
Roberts, Nia
1e596d6d-2c57-421d-b04f-0d835aa22978
Santer, Miriam
3ce7e832-31eb-4d27-9876-3a1cd7f381dc
Willcox, Merlin
dad5b622-9ac2-417d-9b2e-aad41b64ffea
Donovan, Emily
b7b59e0a-40f0-43a3-aa52-e832f72db058
Hu, Xiaoyang
65904b24-3775-4b14-9532-eb703a056655
Elboray, Shereen
abdb4db8-8aeb-40f2-8b30-fbeae56e20c7
Jerrard, Naomi
34089709-b8c3-4d94-9b49-e1fda971df50
Roberts, Nia
1e596d6d-2c57-421d-b04f-0d835aa22978
Santer, Miriam
3ce7e832-31eb-4d27-9876-3a1cd7f381dc

Willcox, Merlin, Donovan, Emily, Hu, Xiaoyang, Elboray, Shereen, Jerrard, Naomi, Roberts, Nia and Santer, Miriam (2020) Views regarding use of complementary therapies for acute respiratory infections: systematic review of qualitative studies. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 50, [102382]. (doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2020.102382).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: unnecessary antibiotic prescribing and use are most common for uncomplicated acute respiratory infections (ARIs). Some Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) treatments have evidence of effectiveness for symptom relief and could be used instead of antibiotics.

Aim: to understand views of the general public and health professionals regarding use of CAM for uncomplicated ARIs.

Design and Setting: systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative studies.

Method: we systematically searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, AMED, COREHOM, CINAHL, Dissertation and theses global and Web of Science Core Collection. We included studies which reported qualitative data on the use of CAM for uncomplicated ARIs where participants were either patients or parents of patients, health professionals or the general public. Analysis followed thematic synthesis.

Results: twenty-two studies were included from four high-income and ten low-and-middle income countries; almost all focussed on non-White populations. Nineteen concerned parents’ treatment of ARIs in their children. In all settings, treatment decisions were influenced by beliefs about the illness (cause, severity), beliefs about treatments (efficacy, safety), availability of treatments and of trustworthy advice. Participants mostly thought CAM is an acceptable option for treatment of mild ARIs but felt that they need trustworthy advice on which treatments to use and when.

Conclusion: treatment decisions depend on beliefs about the illness and treatments, availability of treatments and advice. CAM treatments appear to be acceptable to people from many different settings as a possible alternative to antibiotics for mild ARIs. There is a need for reliable, evidence-based advice on which treatments to use.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 9 March 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 10 March 2020
Keywords: Qualitative; Complementary medicine; respiratory infections

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439387
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439387
ISSN: 0965-2299
PURE UUID: 6691a74f-6f49-44b8-bf96-4a10fd64d510
ORCID for Merlin Willcox: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5227-3444
ORCID for Xiaoyang Hu: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3143-7999
ORCID for Miriam Santer: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7264-5260

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Date deposited: 21 Apr 2020 16:30
Last modified: 09 Jan 2022 05:15

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Contributors

Author: Merlin Willcox ORCID iD
Author: Emily Donovan
Author: Xiaoyang Hu ORCID iD
Author: Shereen Elboray
Author: Naomi Jerrard
Author: Nia Roberts
Author: Miriam Santer ORCID iD

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