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Austrians give a positive opinion of naturopathy and homeopathy
An Austrian study comes to the conclusion that alternative healing methods such as acupuncture or homeopathy enjoy a relatively high reputation among the population. In a comprehensive patient survey, two thirds of the Austrians surveyed rated corresponding treatment approaches as positive.
Most patients judge naturopathy or complementary medicine not as a substitute for conventional medical treatment methods, but as a helpful addition, according to the survey conducted by the Austrian opinion research institute Karmasin. At the presentation of the study commissioned by a pharmaceutical company, the head of the institute, Sophie Karmasin, explained that almost half of the 1,000 respondents had already resorted to complementary medicine treatment methods. Acupuncture, homeopathy and Co. have long been "no foreign word" for most Austrians, only the over 50-year-old men remain extremely skeptical, according to the pollster.
Two-thirds of the respondents rated naturopathy positively Overall, two-thirds of the respondents stated that they were quite positive about complementary medicine, but not as an alternative but as a supplement to conventional medicine. 81 percent of the participants assessed naturopathic treatment approaches as a possible addition to conventional treatment methods, explained Sophie Karmasin. In particular, the subjects over the age of 30 "trust both worlds" without devaluing conventional medicine, emphasized the pollster. A total of 43 percent of those surveyed were classified as “open types”, who had experience with both conventional medicine and naturopathic treatment methods. Karmasin explained that women over the age of 50 were the most open to complementary medical treatment methods. The women also made up the largest share of the 39 percent of those surveyed who stated that they often use home remedies and assigned themselves to the “nature-oriented type”.
Alternative treatment of headache, nervousness and indigestion However, the personal interviews also revealed that 18 percent of those questioned trust only conventional medicine and are opposed to naturopathic procedures. This group is largely made up of men over the age of 50 who see a doctor in the event of illness and then expect a quick solution from him, said the pollster Karmasin. However, almost half of the participants had already resorted to complementary medicine methods, most of them opting for naturopathic treatment methods for headaches (39 percent), followed by nervousness and indigestion. The majority of the test subjects learned about the alternative treatment approaches from friends or acquaintances, explained Karmasin and added that this was at the same time an expression of the importance of “word-of-mouth propaganda” in complementary medical treatments.
Acceptance of naturopathic treatment methods is increasing The openness to naturopathic treatment methods is "not necessarily a consequence of the dissatisfaction with conventional medicine", because most of those questioned were quite satisfied with the conventional medicine treatment, according to the opinion researchers. However, according to Karmasin, it was striking that 81 percent of the participants wished their doctors to pay more attention to the patients. In addition, 78 percent complained that doctors should take more time for the patients. There were no comparable complaints to the complementary medicine therapists. All in all, the current Austrian survey paints an extremely gratifying picture of the acceptance of naturopathic treatment methods, even if some areas could still make progress. (fp)
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