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Alternative Medicine in the U.S. James G. Anderson, Ph.D. Purdue University. Objective. To document trends in alternative medicine use in the U.S. between 1990 and 1997. Design.

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alternative medicine in the u s

Alternative Medicine in the U.S.

James G. Anderson, Ph.D.

Purdue University

objective
Objective
  • To document trends in alternative medicine use in the U.S. between 1990 and 1997.
design
Design
  • Nationally representative random household telephone surveys using comparable key questions were conducted in 1991 and 1997 measuring utilization in 1990 and 1997, respectively.
  • A total of 1539 adults in 1991 and 2055 in 1997.
  • Prevalence, estimated costs and disclosure of alternative therapies to physicians were measured.
other countries of population who used alternative medicine during the past 12 months
Other countries% of population who used alternative medicine during the past 12 months
  • 10% Denmark
  • 15% Canada
  • 33% Finland
  • 49% Australia
types of alternative therapies
Types of Alternative Therapies
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Herbal medicine
  • Massage
  • Chiropractic
  • Spiritual healing
  • Megavitamins
  • Self-help group
  • Imagery
types of alternative therapies1
Types of Alternative Therapies
  • Commercial diet
  • Folk remedies
  • Lifestyle diet
  • Energy healing
  • Homeopathy
  • Hypnosis
  • Biofeedback
  • Acupuncture
results
Results
  • Use of at least 1 of 16 alternative therapies during the previous year increased from 33.8% in 1990 to 42.1% in 1997.
  • The probability of users visiting an alternative medicine practitioner increased from 36.3% to 46.3%.
results1
Results
  • Therapies increasing the most included: herbal medicine massage megavitamins self-help groups folk remedies energy healing homeopathy
results alternative therapies used most frequently for
ResultsAlternative therapies used most frequently for:
  • Back problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Headaches
percentage of users paying entirely out of pocket for alternative therapies
Percentage of Users paying Entirely Out-of-Pocket for Alternative Therapies
  • 1990: 64%
  • 1997: 68.3%
estimated total expenditures for alternative medicine services
Estimated Total Expenditures for Alternative Medicine Services
  • 1990: $14.6 billion
  • 1997: $21.2 billion
why patients use alternative medicine
Why Patients use Alternative Medicine
  • National study of why people in the U.S. use alternative medicine.
  • Objective – to investigate predictors of alternative health care use.
hypotheses people seek alternative medicine because
HypothesesPeople seek alternative medicine because:
  • (1). they are dissatisfied with conventional treatment.
  • (2). they see alternative medicine as offering more personal autonomy and control over health care decisions.
  • (3). the alternatives are seen as more compatible with their beliefs, values, and world view.
design1
Design
  • Written survey examining use of alternative health care and attitudes toward conventional medicine.
  • 1035 individuals were randomly selected who lived throughout the United States.
results predictors of use of alternative medicine
Results Predictors of use of alternative medicine:
  • More education
  • Poorer health status
  • Chronic health problems
  • Holistic orientation to health
  • Experience that changed their world view
  • Membership in cultural groups such as environmentalism, feminism, spiritualism
  • Believing in the importance of body, mind, and spirit in treating health problems
  • Perceived efficacy (relief of symptoms)
results predictors of use by those who primarily use alternative medicine
Results Predictors of use by those who primarily use alternative medicine:
  • Distrust of conventional physicians and hospitals
  • Desire for control over health decisions
  • Dissatisfaction with conventional practitioners
  • Belief in importance ofn one’s inner life