Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Rural Communities: Current Research and Future Directions
Article first published online: 15 NOV 2010
© 2010 National Rural Health Association
The Journal of Rural Health
Volume 28, Issue 1, pages 101–112, Winter 2012
How to Cite
Wardle, J., Lui, C.-W. and Adams, J. (2012), Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Rural Communities: Current Research and Future Directions. The Journal of Rural Health, 28: 101–112. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.2010.00348.x
- Issue published online: 3 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 15 NOV 2010
- allied health;
- alternative medicine;
- health services research;
- utilization of health services
Contexts: The consumption of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in rural areas is a significant contemporary health care issue. An understanding of CAM use in rural health can provide a new perspective on health beliefs and practice as well as on some of the core service delivery issues facing rural health care generally.
Purpose: This article presents the first review and synthesis of research findings on CAM use and practice in rural communities.
Methods: A comprehensive search of literature from 1998 to 2010 in CINAHL, MEDLINE, AMED, and CSA Illumina (social sciences) was conducted. The search was confined to peer-reviewed articles published in English reporting empirical research findings on the use or practice of CAM in rural settings.
Findings: Research findings are grouped and examined according to 3 key themes: “prevalence of CAM use and practice,”“user profile and trends of CAM consumption,” and “potential drivers and barriers to CAM use and practice.”
Conclusions: Evidence from recent research illustrates the substantial prevalence and complexity of CAM use in rural regions. A number of potential gaps in our understanding of CAM use and practice in rural settings are also identified.