Articles on complementary medicines in women’s lifestyle and health magazines are overwhelmingly written by contributors with no medical qualifications, and do not take account of dangerous drug and herb interactions, according to research published in Nursing Times.
The research looked at 150 articles on complementary or alternative medicine, published in 30 magazines with a focus on women’s lifestyle issues and health.
Of the 150 articles, 131 recommended complementary and alternative medicine to treat particular conditions or symptoms, and were written by contributors with no medical qualifications.
The researchers were particularly concerned about advice being issued without due regard for potential drug and herb interactions, and said there was “considerable concern in relation to the proliferation of potentially dangerous information”.
The research concluded that magazine coverage came with “potential for harm”, and said nurses should be alert to the risks of patients accessing “many and varied” sources of medical information.
The authors recommended further exploration of their concerns, and re-evaluation of journalists’ code of conduct.