Use of Herbal Medicine in Primary Care Patients with Mood and Anxiety Disorders

Published in: Psychosomatics, v. 46, no. 2, Apr. 2005, p. 117-122

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2005

by Peter Roy-Byrne, Alexander Bystritsky, Joan Russo, Michelle G. Craske, Cathy D. Sherbourne, Murray Stein

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Studies have documented the increasing use of complementary and alternative medicine over the last decade, especially in distressed individuals with symptoms of anxiety, depression, and pain. Herbal medicine is a specific form of complementary and alternative medicine often used by individuals seeing traditional medical practitioners and, hence, has the potential to interact with other medically prescribed treatments. The study examined the use of herbal medicine in a group of primary care patients with symptoms of anxiety and depression. The rate of use of herbal medicines was 11%, and use was selectively associated with a diagnosis of major depression, higher education, and a lower burden of medical illness. Use was not associated with receipt of pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy for anxiety or depression.

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