Differences in perceived risks and benefits of herbal, over-the-counter conventional, and prescribed conventional, medicines, and the implications of this for the safe and effective use of herbal products
Lynch, N. and Berry, D. (2007) Differences in perceived risks and benefits of herbal, over-the-counter conventional, and prescribed conventional, medicines, and the implications of this for the safe and effective use of herbal products. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 15 (2). pp. 84-91. ISSN 0965-2299
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.ctim.2006.06.007
Objectives: To investigate people's views about the efficacy and specific risks of herbal, over-the-counter (OTC) conventional, and prescribed conventional medicines, and their likelihood of taking a second (herbal or OTC conventional) product in addition to a prescribed medicine. Methods: Experiment 1 (1 factor within-participant design); Experiment 2 (1 factor between-participant design). Convenience samples of general population were given a hypothetical scenario and required to make a number of judgements. Results: People believed herbal remedies to be less effective, but less risky than OTC and prescribed conventional medicines. Herbal medicines were not seen as being safer simply because of their easier availability. Participants indicated that they would be more likely to take a herbal medicine than a conventional OTC medicine in addition to a prescribed medicine, and less likely to consult their doctor in advance. Conclusion: People believe that herbal medicines are natural and relatively safe and can be used with less caution. People need to be given clear information about the risks and benefits of herbal medicines if they are to use such products safety and effectively. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.