Preventative Effects of Cranberry Products Against Urinary Tract Infections in Healthy, Immunocompetent Women [Report]
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Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are commonly diagnosed in an estimated 300 million women per year around the world. Annual health care costs for diagnosis and treatment of UTIs in the United States is approximately $1.6 billion. Previous research suggests cranberry products, a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), provides protection against UTI recurrence in women. A demand for alternative, cost-effective methods for UTI prevention is needed due to rising antibiotic resistance rates. In this cross-sectional study, the specific aims examined women’s use, knowledge of, and attitudes toward CAM, and the use of cranberry products to prevent UTIs. An online self-administered questionnaire, the Holistic Complementary and Alternative Medicine Questionnaire (HCAMQ), was distributed to a convenience sample of healthy women 18 to 65 years of age who attended Texas State University. Findings revealed 27% of women have used CAM in the past, but only 9.2% are currently using it. The most common types of CAM used are vitamins and herbal supplements (61%), meditation/mindfulness (48%), yoga (35%), and acupuncture (22%). The HCAMQ survey scores indicated a more positive attitude towards CAM and holistic health (HH). About 60% of women admitted to using cranberry product to prevent UTIs with positive results in 82% of them. Although 73% of participants believe CAM is worth trying, 82% of them believe more testing is needed and 67% believe CAM can be dangerous because it prevents patients from seeking traditional treatment for their illnesses. Increased patient education is needed to change attitudes and increase usage of CAM.