Few Asian Americans Discuss Alternative Medical Practices with Physicians

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<p>Studies have consistently shown that Asian Americans are less satisfied with their health care than white Americans are, partly because of difficulties with language and access to care. According to a new study by Commonwealth Fund-supported researchers, there may be another factor at play: physicians often are not aware of the alternative medical therapies--like acupuncture and herbal medicines--that their Asian American patients may be using.<br><br>For <a href="/cnlib/pub/enews_clickthrough.htm?enews_item_id=21636&return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ecmwf%2Eorg%2Fpublications%2Fpublications%5Fshow%2Ehtm%3Fdoc%5Fid%3D365994%26%23doc365994">the study,</a> which appears in the new issue of the <em>American Journal of Public Health,</em> the researchers surveyed Chinese and Vietnamese Americans in eight urban areas. Their findings show that while roughly two-thirds of respondents reported using some form of complementary or alternative therapy, fewer than one of 10 discussed this treatment with their doctor. However, when patients did discuss it, they rated their health care higher.<br><br>Clinicians, say the authors, can optimize their patients' care by being aware of "how belief systems differ and how these differences influence health care practices."</p>