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 7

Abstract #63617

Consumer information on complementary and alternative medicine, and the role of the Internet

Jennie Dalton Bowen, BS1, Todd Wagner, PhD2, Kate Bundorf, PhD, MBA, MPH3, Sara Singer, MBA1, and Laurence Baker, PhD3. (1) Center for Health Policy, Stanford University, 117 Encina Commons, Stanford, CA 94305, 650.724.3545,, (2) VA Palo Alto Health Care System and Stanford, 795 Willow Rd., 152-MPD, Menlo Park, CA 94025, (3) Health Research and Policy, Stanford University, HRP Redwood Building, Rm 257, Stanford, CA 94305

In recent years, use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has grown substantially. Though many Americans are using CAM, few studies have researched if and where Americans search for information about CAM therapies and if information-seeking is associated with use of CAM. Of particular interest is whether people who seek CAM information are more likely to talk to a physician about CAM. Knowledge Networks (KN), a survey research firm, has established a panel of potential survey respondents using random digit dialing. Households are asked about their willingness to complete online surveys occasionally in exchange for free Internet access through MSN WebTV. Surveys are administered online to panel members. Our survey was fielded by KN in late 2001/early 2002 and 8,935 respondents consented and completed the survey. A large majority or respondents reported that they had used a CAM therapy in the past year. A quarter of respondents had sought information about CAM in the past year and 15.9% had used the Internet to do so. In our survey, we found that individuals who sought information about CAM in the past year had significantly greater odds of using CAM than those who did not. This was true if they sought information from a source other than the Internet or from the Internet. We also found that individuals who used the Internet to search for information about CAM had greater odds of talking with a doctor about CAM than those who did not use the Internet to find information about CAM.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Internet

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