245829 Complementary and alternative medicine use by solid organ transplant recipients in the United States

Monday, October 31, 2011: 1:10 PM

Rachael S. Wong, DrPH , Health Policy and Administration, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Honolulu, HI
Background: Evidence shows that Americans increasingly use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM): 36% in 2002, to 38.3% in 2007. It represents a significant part of received care but is not considered an integrated component of our health care system in literature, practice, or policymaking. Few studies have examined CAM use by the hundreds of thousands of solid organ (kidney, pancreas, lung, heart, liver, small bowel) transplant recipients in the United States. These individuals often live with chronic medical conditions and are high-use patients in our health care system, which invests heavily in transplantation as a medical intervention. Methods: An online survey program collected self-reported data on CAM use and integrative health care (IHC) preferences by U.S. solid organ transplant recipients (reached via email requests for participation) in 2010. The survey incorporated 2007 National Health Interview Survey CAM questions and IHC questions developed for this study. Results: Transplant recipient subjects (n=788) used CAM at a higher rate than the general public (56.9% v. 38.3%) and most commonly sought CAM for musculoskeletal and mental health issues. Higher education and female gender were correlates for CAM use. Nearly half (49.7%) integrate their own CAM and medical care although 49.6% want others serving as integrators. Medical doctors ranked highest (46.9%) as desired integrators; trained IHC professionals (21.3%) followed. Conclusions: This study found that transplant recipients utilize CAM at higher rates and for different reasons than the general population, they are willing to share their health care opinions via online surveys, and additional research is needed to better understand transplant recipients' beliefs and behaviors.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe how the use of complementary and alternative medicine therapies by solid organ transplant recipients in the United States compares with that of the general population.

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Utilization

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I conducted this research for my doctorate in public health program.
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.