Many patients now use herbal and alternative therapies. The patients may not always report this use to the surgeon or anesthesiologist and some patients continue usage immediately prior to surgery. Identifying patients more likely use alternative therapies can help guide the preoperative interview.


Predictors identified by Leung et al in Californian hospitals:

(1) female

(2) age 35 – 49

(3) higher income

(4) higher education

(5) Caucasian

(6) sleep problems

(7) chronic joint or back problems

(8) allergies

(9) addiction

(10) history of general surgery


Ethnic groups with cultural use of alternative therapies:

(1) Asians

(2) Indians

(3) native Americans

(4) Africans

(5) people from the Caribbean

(6) Hispanic

(7) people from Appalachia


Other groups:

(1) elderly > 65 years

(2) college age athletes trying to enhance performance

(3) young women trying to lose weight

(4) cancer patients

(5) HIV-positive patients


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