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Many doctors and nurses embrace alternative medicine

Consumer Reports News: August 22, 2011 03:08 PM

Your doctor or nurse might be more likely than you to turn to dietary supplements and alternative therapies such as acupuncture and chiropractic care, according to a recent study in the journal Health Services Research. It found that 76 percent of health-care workers reported using alternative or complementary therapy in the preceding year compared with 63 percent of the general population.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2007 National Health Interview Survey, the most current nationally representative data available on the use of complementary and alternative medicine in U.S. households. The most common reason given by health-care professionals for use of complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) was general wellness (68 percent), while the least common reason was that traditional medical care was too expensive (4 percent).

Back, neck, or joint pain were the most commonly reported health conditions for overall CAM use and for seeing an alternative practitioner. Anxiety was the most commonly reported condition for self-treatment.

Bottom line: Don’t feel embarrassed about discussing alternative therapies with your health-care provider. Chances are, they may have used some form of alternative treatment themselves. Read more about alternative therapies.

Personal Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) by U.S. Healthcare Workers [Health Services Research]

Doug Podolsky

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