WOMEN'S USE OF COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES IN REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CARE

Authors

  • Margaret W. Beal CNM, PhD

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    • Margaret W. Beal is an associate professor in the nurse-midwifery education program at Yale University School of Nursing. She received her MSN and nurse-midwifery education from Yale University School of Nursing, and a PhD in Nursing Science from the Union Institute. Her current research is on the use of acupuncture for symptom relief in HIV disease.


  • CNMs/CMs and midwives as used herein refer to those midwifery practitioners who are certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) or the ACNM Certification Council, Inc; midwifery refers to the profession as practiced in accordance with the standards promulgated by the ACNM.

Yale University School of Nursing, 100 Church Street South, P.O. Box 9746, New Haven, CT 06536–0740.

ABSTRACT

Numerous studies have documented that health care consumers all over the world are spending money out of pocket for alternative therapies and that billions of dollars are spent in the United States alone. In this article, the use of complementary and alternative therapies by women health care consumers is discussed, particularly as this phenomenon relates to women's reproductive health in the United States. Women use conventional health care services more frequently than men; thus, it is not surprising that women account for approximately two thirds of health care appointments for complementary and alternative therapies. The traditional conceptual frameworks of herbal medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, and acupressure are presented, and common clinical applications to women's reproductive care are discussed.

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