The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

4107.0: Tuesday, November 18, 2003 - Board 2

Abstract #55185

Complementary and alternative medicine use in a community behavioral health center

Audrey J. Brooks, PhD and Sandra M. Gallagher, PhD. La Frontera Center, Inc, 410 S. 6th Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701, 520-594-6318,

Numerous studies have reported the widespread use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in disease-specific and national samples. Higher education, being female, and more psychological problems have been associated with CAM use. However, few studies have been conducted in community behavioral health (CBH) samples. The present study sought to examine CAM use in a sample of CBH clients. Clients receiving substance abuse and/or mental health services participated in a survey of health behaviors, CAM use, and desire for CAM services. The most prevalent practices were related to lifestyle changes and use of supplements. Changes in diet to improve health were reported by 58% of clients. Increased exercise and vitamin use was reported by half the sample. Relaxation techniques, cutting down/quitting smoking, herb use, and meditation were reported by one-third of the sample. Clients were most interested in learning more about exercise (50%), followed by stress management, vitamins, relaxation techniques, diet, and massage. Higher education, being female, greater mental health problems, medical care utilization, and perceived efficacy of conventional care were correlated with CAM use. Greater CAM use was found for substance clients compared to mental health or dual diagnosis clients. Diet changes, vitamin, supplements and herb use, and use of relaxation, meditation techniques, yoga and Tai Chi was greater in the substance clients. This study extends previous studies of CAM use and predictors to the CBH sample. It also points to the need for CBH providers to address clients’ desires to implement diverse lifestyle change techniques into their lives.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Introduction to and Considerations in Complementary and Alternative Therapies (CAM)

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA