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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Use of Conventional and Complementary Medicine and Alternative Medical Services: A Comparison of Four Types of Users

Rebecca Tanner, MA, Department of Sociology, University of Notre Dame, 913 Flanner Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46530 and Felicia B. LeClere, PhD, Laboratory of Social Research, University of Notre Dame, 913 Flanner Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556, 574-631-4528, leclere.1@nd.edu.

This paper examines the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) alone and in combination with conventional medicine in order to assess whether CAM users fit the standard profile of health services use initially developed by Andersen and colleagues. Data from the 1996 and 1998 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey are used for this analysis. With survey questions about the use of service providers, we classify respondents into four categories including those who have used no health services in the last year, those who used only CAM, only conventional medicine, and those who used a combination of both. We fit a series of multinomial logit models in order to assess whether the model of health service use fit each of the groups equally well. We found that those that used conventional medicine (63% of the sample) and conventional medicine in conjunction with CAM (7%) were very similar in their socioeconomic and health profile. Those respondents who used CAM alone (1%) and those who used no health care services in the previous year (29%) were also very similar. In particular, those who use CAM alone were younger, more likely to be male and healthier when compared to those who use conventional medicine alone. These findings suggest that the majority of CAM users have adopted complementary medicine as a supplement to their existing medical care. Conversely, a small group of CAM users adopt complementary medicine in response to factors other than immediate health concerns.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Health Care Delivery,

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

Growing Prevalence of Alternative and Complementary Health Practices: Obstacles and Opportunities for Health Professionals and Consumers

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