Health Care Utilization Among Complementary and Alternative Medicine Users in a Large Military Cohort
NAVAL HEALTH RESEARCH CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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Our study found that those who report complementary and alternative medicine CAM use were disproportionally overrepresented in both inpatient and outpatient categories compared with non-CAM users. As a group, these individuals appear less healthy or may perceive themselves as less-healthy than their non-CAM counterparts. More importantly, CAM users appear to have greater health care requirements and tend to use both conventional and unconventional health care services. Only 35 of persons who use CAM therapies share this knowledge with their primary health care provider. However, there is well-documented evidence in the literature for herbal drug interactions, and health care provider awareness of CAM therapies by patients may help to avoid some potential adverse reactions. CAM use is common, and as CAM continues to grow, physicians and other health care providers will have to address safety and efficacy issues related to these practices. An additional concern is whether CAM use represents the inability of current conventional medical practice to meet the health care needs of these patients.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Military Forces and Organizations