Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a leading cause of liver disease world-wide with more than 170 million people chronically infected. 1 In developed countries the main mode of transmission is through the use of needles and syringes contaminated with infected blood or blood products 2 although past incidents of iatrogenic HCV infection have been reported in many countries 3,4 including Ireland. 5,6 There is a general consensus within the literature that people with chronic HCV infection present with deficits in quality of life. 7–10 As a consequence, many people with HCV infection have sought support for maintaining their health and wellbeing through the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). 11 The National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) 12 has described CAM “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine”. The reported prevalence of CAM use in the general population varies widely (10–67%) across different countries. 13–15 Irish studies have reported on CAM use ranging from 20% to 27% in the general population 16 and 55% (226/406) in those with a chronic health condition such as breast cancer. 17 Internationally,
Complementary Therapies in Medicine – Elsevier
Published: Aug 1, 2014
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