Address correspondence to Matthew A. Davis, D.C., M.P.H., Instructor, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, 35 Centerra Parkway, Lebanon, NH 03766; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Matthew A. Davis, D.C., M.P.H., Chiropractor, is with the Grace Cottage Hospital, 135 Grafton Road, Townshend, VT. Alan N. West, Ph.D., Deputy Director, is with the Veterans Rural Health Resource Center—Eastern Region, VA Medical Center (11Q), White River Junction, VT. William B. Weeks, M.D., M.B.A., Associate Professor and Core Faculty, is with The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, Lebanon, NH. Brenda E. Sirovich, M.D., M.S., Research Associate and Staff Physician, is with the Outcomes Group (111B), Veterans Affairs Medical Center, White River Junction, VT. Brenda E. Sirovich, M.D., M.S., Associate Professor of Medicine and of Community and Family Medicine, is also with the Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH. Brenda E. Sirovich, M.D., M.S., is also with The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, Lebanon, NH.
Health Behaviors and Utilization among Users of Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Treatment versus Health Promotion
Version of Record online: 9 MAY 2011
© Health Research and Educational Trust
Health Services Research
Volume 46, Issue 5, pages 1402–1416, October 2011
How to Cite
Davis, M. A., West, A. N., Weeks, W. B. and Sirovich, B. E. (2011), Health Behaviors and Utilization among Users of Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Treatment versus Health Promotion. Health Services Research, 46: 1402–1416. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6773.2011.01270.x
- Issue online: 6 SEP 2011
- Version of Record online: 9 MAY 2011
- Complementary and alternative medicine;
- health services;
- preventive health services
Objective. To compare the characteristics, health behaviors, and health services utilization of U.S. adults who use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to treat illness to those who use CAM for health promotion.
Data Source. The 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).
Study Design. We compared adult (age ≥18 years) NHIS respondents based on whether they used CAM in the prior year to treat an illness (n=973), for health promotion (n=3,281), or for both purposes (n=3,031). We used complex survey design methods to make national estimates and examine respondents' self-reported health status, health behaviors, and conventional health services utilization.
Principal Findings. Adults who used CAM for health promotion reported significantly better health status and healthier behaviors overall (higher rates of physical activity and lower rates of obesity) than those who used CAM as treatment. While CAM Users in general had higher rates of conventional health services utilization than those who did not use CAM; adults who used CAM as treatment consumed considerably more conventional health services than those who used it for health promotion.
Conclusion. This study suggests that there are two distinct types of CAM User that must be considered in future health services research and policy decisions.