196870 Use of complementary and alternative medicine in Puerto Rico

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 2:30 PM

Roberto Torres-Zeno, PhD , Puerto Rico Health Services Research Institute, University of Puerto Rico Graduate School of Public Health, San Juan, PR
Matías Leida, PhD , Old San Juan, Carlos Albizu University, San Juan, PR
Ruth Ríos , School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, PR
Jorge Miranda-Massari, PhD , Pharmacy, University of Puerto Rico School of Pharmacy, San Juan, PR
Yelitza Sánchez , School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus, San Juan, PR
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has been defined as a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. The use of CAM has become widespread, with expense in the U.S. equal to all out-of-pocket expenses for physician services. Patient safety and access issues, financial and cost considerations and the role of CAM practices in health promotion and prevention are primary concerns for patients, providers, insurers, policy makers and health care managers in Puerto Rico as well as in other countries. However, studies on CAM use in the island are non-existent. This paper presents findings from a CAM household study (N=203) designed to examine CAM use patterns in the Bayamón municipality in Puerto Rico using the U.S. National Health Interview Survey. In 2008, overall use prevalence of CAM therapies in the past 12 months was 56%. Specific CAM therapies most commonly used were natural products (35%), deep breathing exercises (24%), meditation (17%), and massage (7.4%). Eighteen percent of subjects in the sample reported having some kind of CAM benefit in their health insurance plan. This is the first study of its kind in Puerto Rico and is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain the demographic, CAM health insurance coverage and health status profile of CAM and non-CAM users in the sample under study in Puerto Rico. 2. Identify the overall prevalence rate of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in the Bayamón municipality in Puerto Rico in comparison to the U.S. and other countries. 3. Define the prevalence rates and reasons for use of specific CAM modalities in the Bayamón municipality in Puerto Rico.

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Latinos

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Have conducted research on health services research and health services management; obtained grant funds from AHRQ to lead the Puerto Rico Health Services Resarch Institute.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.