Understanding use of complementary and altertive medicine (CAM) and antidepressants during patient's recovery for depression is important to enhance their psychological functioning and promote positive health care outcomes. This study investigated the use of antidepressant treatment and CAM in outpatients with depression 1 month after discharge from psychiatric hospitalization. Telephone surveys were conducted. Of the 201 participants, 50.2% reported using CAM 1 month after discharge. Nearly 41% (n = 82) used a combition of both antidepressant treatment and CAM after hospital discharge. The most commonly used CAMs were spiritual healing, relaxation techniques, and herbal medicine. Symptom relief was the top reason participants used CAM for depression. A number of factors were associated with higher odds of using CAM. CAM is often considered as a valued component of holistic care plan after discharge. It is important for nurses to identify the CAM approaches patients are using so that this information can assist in the education of patients and family about the benefits of contemporary treatments for depression, possible interactions when combining treatments, and the CAM and conventiol medicine that can be helpful to relieve depression symptoms and psychological distress.
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