Background. Folk remedies (FRs) are common in some minority communicties within the United States. However, little information is available about the use of FRs in the inner city. The objectives fo this study were to identify the prevalence and types of FRs used in the inner city, to characterize the population using FRs, and to study patient attitudes toward discussing FRs with physicians.
Methods. We interveiwed 71 patients ovr the age of 18 who visited an inner city ambulatory clinic.
Results. The rate of FR use ranged from 10% to 50% among common medical conditions, with most patients (59%) using at least one remedy. Folk remedy use did not correlate with patient age. Most patients used FRs because they believed them to be efficacious, and most felt compfortable discusing FR with their physiians.
Conclusions. Inner city residents of all ages use FRs to treat illness. These FRs are benign and consist of common household items. Health care workers should feel comofrable discussing FRs with their patients since their patients are comfortable with the topic.
(C) 1999 Southern Medical Association