Patterns of Use of Complementary Health Services in the South-West of Western Australia


Correspondence: DrPatriciaSherwood Edith Cowan University, Bunbury Campus, Robertson Drive, Bunbury, Western Australia 6230, Australia. Email:


The objective of this research was to identify patterns of complementary health service usage by rural Western Australians in the south-west of the State. Complementary health providers identified by health users included homeopaths, chiropractors, naturopaths, acupuncturists, faith healers, herbalists, reiki or energy workers, counsellors, physiotherapists, osteopaths, podiatrists and reflexologists. More than half of the health provider usage in the region was with complementary therapists and the remainder with medical doctors. The main reason identified for using complementary therapists was their level of skills and the main reason identified for not using them was a lack of knowledge about what their services could provide.