Complementary medicine, venous ulcers and health education to a correct use: literature review

Introduction: Complementary medicine has ancient historical roots and its utilization is in continuous evolution. It alongside scientific medicine in the treatment of many diseases, including oncological, respiratory, dermatological, in the treatment of pain and in the local treatment of various skin ulcers (lesions). In particular, in local treatment of skin ulcers, scientific medicine uses different products with more or less effective results bringing a significant impact on patients' quality of life. Seen the spread of complementary medicine, this study aimed to conduct a review of the international biomedical literature on the use of complementary medicine in the local treatment of vascular ulcers (vascular lesions) of the lower limbs, the type of products used, the results obtained and health education on its use. Methods: It was carried out a literature review on the following databases: MEDLINE, COCHRANE, EMBASE with the aim of detecting the evidence of effectiveness in the use of complementary medicine in the local treatment of vascular ulcers and health education to use. We have used key words and the thesaurus descriptors related to health education and complementary medicine. We have identified studies - qualitative, quantitative indicators have been identified, mixed method, reviews, meta-analysis, case reports in english, conducted on human. The research was carried out without setting any time limit until the literature published in August 2016. Results: The literature search yielded 174 studies. After eliminating the two studies in more databases, 153 studies excluded as not relevant, we have selected 19 studies for a total of 1032 patients: 8 level studies 1, 3 to level 2 studies, 3 studies level 3 and the 5 studies level 4. I’s appeared that several authors have evaluated the efficacy of interventions with plant-based products, including: aloe, calendula, horse chestnut and linen. 25% of them investigates the use of Aloe Vera in the local treatment of vascular lesions in a sample of 378 patients. Excellent results have been obtained in the local treatment of vascular ulcers with Calendula officinalis in a sample of 36 vascular ulcers. The application of the above mentioned treatment is carried out by doctors and nurses. No studies were identified that present health education in the use of Complementary Medicine in the local treatment of vascular ulcers. These findings are insufficient to support or deny that a treatment is more effective than another. Conclusions: The studies included often had a small sample size, the RCTs were of poor quality ... and more deepened, well-organized experimental studies are needed. Complementary therapies are playing a role in the therapeutic care of the health of individuals and, through the use of such therapies, nursing is developing a cultural richness. However, there are still barriers to overcome; namely, the reluctance to accept complementary therapies in many healthcare environments. Through research and education, these barriers can be overcome. Through health education of our professionals can understand and teach people the correct approach to the Complementary Medicine. We must be open to the likelihood that some of these therapies will become standard practices in the future.

Cioinac, S.E. and Lavalle, T.
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Int J Inf Res Rev
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David Johnson
Jessica Parker
Sarah Conor
John Franklin