Quan H, Galbraith PD, Norris CM, Southern DA, King K, Verhoef MJ, Knudtson ML, Ghali WA. Opinions on chelation therapy in patients undergoing coronary angiography: cross-sectional survey. Can J Cardiol. 2007 Jun;23(8):635-40.
Background: Chelation therapy is frequently used by patients for the treatment of coronary artery disease. However, relatively little is known about patient attitudes and beliefs that underlie the use of this treatment. The aim of the present study was to document patients' opinions and beliefs about health care decision making, physician and patient communication and relationships, and reasons for using or not using chelation therapy as treatment for coronary artery disease.
Methods: A mail survey was sent to patients who underwent coronary angiography between 1998 and 2000 in Alberta. Information was collected on self-reported reasons for chelation therapy use, sociodemographic characteristics, communication and relationships between patients and physicians, as well as beliefs regarding surgery, medications and chelation therapy.
Results: Of the 780 patients who received surveys, 96 users and 264 nonusers of chelation therapy completed questionnaires. Among the users, 20.8% believed that chelation therapy could cure heart disease, 44.2% believed that it could relieve symptoms, 16.7% believed that it could have side effects and 58.4% believed that it could increase quality of life. Users and nonusers were similar in their beliefs about safety and benefits of heart surgery, but users of chelation therapy were less likely than nonusers to believe that using conventional medications could prevent worsening of heart disease (53.1% versus 67.4%), increase quality of life (74.0% versus 85.2%) and give a feeling of control over heart disease (61.5% versus 77.7%).
Conclusions: Many chelation therapy users appeared to have negative views toward the benefits of conventional medications and positive views toward the safety of chelation therapy. Users and nonusers of chelation therapy had the same views toward the benefits and safety of heart surgery.