Date of Award

Spring 4-5-2004

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Donna DeGracia

Second Advisor

Dawn B. Ludwig


Background. Healthcare providers are often concerned about the use of alternative treatments by patients of Hispanic decent. Herbal product use is one type of alternative treatment that is most concerning. This study examined the prevalence of herbal product use for diabetes control by a sample of patients of Hispanic decent. Methods. A convenience sample of 42 patients of Hispanic decent with type 2 diabetes was surveyed. Following a descriptive, quantitative design, questionnaires were available in both English and Spanish and were distributed to participants by the diabetic educator at La Clinica en Lake. Questions were asked about demographics, diabetes status and herbal use status variables Results. Among the 42 patients surveyed, 18 (43%) reported herbal product use for diabetes control. Of these patients, only 4 (10%) reported currently using herbal products for this purpose. Overall, most patients (93%) indicated the use of oral medication as a measure of diabetes control. The most frequently used herbal product was Nopal (91%) The majority (82%) of the study participants felt that the herbal products had good/very good effect on their diabetes. Among those who indicated herbal product use, the vast majority (91%) reported informing their healthcare provider of their use. Conclusions. In this study, the prevalence of herbal product use for the control of diabetes among people of Hispanic decent was not common. The use of oral medication appears to be more common for diabetes control in these patients.


SC 11.PAS.2004.Tarchand.GR