Skip to main content

Table 5 'Push factors' from conventional medicine

From: Complementary therapy use by patients and parents of children with asthma and the implications for NHS care: a qualitative study

Concerns about drugs as first line treatment on diagnosis of asthma with lack of health promotion advice
"First line treatment was, 'We'll give you this medication and come back in a month's time and see how you feel and see if it's working'..but not very much of any other advice, no health promotion issues at all..I would expect 'These are preventative things you can do, and perhaps these may help you'." (AA40, adult female, using yoga)
Dislike long-term dependence on medication, particularly steroids
"I'm dependent on medicine, and it is a little bit scary..I didn't really want to be dependent on it, so I've tried to come off that and I've tried other things..I've cut out milk and wheat, and I've been to see a homeopathic doctor." (CA02, adult female, using nutritional therapy and homeopathy)
AS: So what do you feel about taking the medication?
HY01: I don't think it's a good idea and it's really degrading like taking pills all the time.
AS: In what way do you mean?
HY01: It like makes you feel ill, it's a reminder sitting there saying you're ill and it's not nice, it puts you down taking pills." (girl aged 15, using homeopathy and other therapies)
TA06: "I'm not sure about these steroids, you know, I went on the steroids, lost my voice, so then I encountered this thing called Yamoa, I went to the local health place and took Yamoa and that helped..I wasn't really sure about taking the steroids, actually I didn't want to. AS: What was it that you felt uncertain about?
TA06: Though they told me that it wouldn't affect my bones, I wasn't sure how right that really was, and I'm at the stage of life where osteoporosis is a thing..so I wasn't sure, I just don't like the idea of taking steroids." (adult female, using herbal medicine)
Concerns about escalation of medication, with limited benefit for controlling symptoms
"Over the years I've kept going to the doctor's and the asthma nurse and my medication has increased so much, but I never seem to get any better for it. If I had a course of steroids because I was really bad, then obviously that would boost me up, but I never got to the stage where I needed less medication, it was always more and more and more, let's try this inhaler, let's try these tablets." (TA01, adult female, using Buteyko)
"he was a poorly child and his asthma was starting to be very limiting, and it was the fact that it was getting worse, and you suddenly stop and think, this is all, you know, he's getting worse, inhalers don't really do anything..and he would need quite a lot of nebulising, and we had quite a lot of crises..and so we went to this homeopath." (AY16, mother of boy aged 14, using cranial osteopathy and homeopathy)