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Factors influencing the use of complementary and alternative medicine and whether patients inform their primary care physician

Thomson P, Jones J, Evans J & Leslie S (2012) Factors influencing the use of complementary and alternative medicine and whether patients inform their primary care physician, Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 20 (1-2), pp. 45-53.

Objectives Use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) is widespread. Several studies have explored why individuals chose to use CAM but there are fewer data to explain how its use ‘dovetails’ with conventional medicine. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of CAM use in the adult population in Australia and the proportion that seek advice or tell their primary care physician after CAM use, and also to investigate which demographic characteristics, health behaviours and health status are associated with CAM use and disclosure. Design A cross sectional survey. Methods: a random sample of 1261 adults was interviewed as part of 2010 Queensland Social Survey, which contained questions about CAM use, frequency of use, types of CAM used, reasons for use, discussing and reporting CAM use with the doctor and confidence in CAM use. Relationships were explored using bivariate and multiple logistic regression. Main outcome measures: use of CAM; sought advice from doctor before CAM use; informed doctor after CAM use. Results 61.7% of respondents had used self-prescribed CAM or visited a CAM practitioner. Being female and being younger predicted CAM use. Being male and in better health predicted seeking advice from the doctor before and also after CAM use. Conclusion Our results confirm the relatively high use of CAM in Queensland, Australia and found that a significant proportion of people did not seek advice from their primary care physician before using CAM, or disclose its use afterwards. These factors should be taken into account in the doctor–patient consultation.

Complementary and alternative medicine; Disclosure; Medicine; Primary care physician

AuthorsThomson Patricia, Jones Jenny, Evans Josie, Leslie Stephen
Publication date02/2012
ISSN 0965-2299

Complementary Therapies in Medicine: Volume 20, Issue 1-2 (2012-02)

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