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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Effect of access and quality of care on difference in the use of complementary and alternative medicine between males and females

Stephan F. Gohmann, PhD1, Christine S. Ritchie2, and William Paul McKinney, MD2. (1) Department of Economics, University of Louisville, College of Business and Public Administration, Louisville, KY 40292, 402-852-4844, sfgohm01@louisville.edu, (2) Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Louisville, Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, 501 South Preston Street, Suite 204, Louisville, KY 40202

The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) differs between men and women. This paper examines the influences on alternative care use. Of particular interest are satisfaction with the quality of their current medical care and access to that medical care. The data are from the 1996 and 1998 Medical Expenditure Panel survey drawn from a probability sample representative of the US civilian population.

Main Outcome Measures: Reported use of alternative care by males and females for a specific illness, by 6 chronic illnesses, access to care measures, satisfaction with quality of care, and socio-demographic measures.

Results: Women are more likely than men to use alternative therapies, and the influencers of their decision to use these therapies differ from those of men. Having difficulty in obtaining care increases the probability that women will use alternative care, in particular their use of massage and herbal therapies. For men, dissatisfaction with their family’s ability to get care increases their probability of using alternative therapies, especially spiritual healing. Dissatisfaction with the quality of care does not have a significant influence on the use of alternative therapies. Chronic illnesses associated with chronic pain, arthritis and headaches strongly influence the use of alternative therapies for women, and arthritis increases the probability of use for men. Of the remaining chronic illnesses, menopause was the only consistent explainer of use by women.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the end of this session participants will be able to

    Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Access to Health Care

    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.

    [ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

    Bringing Alternative and Complementary Health Practices into Medical Care and Public Health

    The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA