The Psychosocial Aspects of Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Article first published online: 17 JAN 2012
2000 Pharmacotherapy Publications Inc.
Pharmacotherapy: The Journal of Human Pharmacology and Drug Therapy
Volume 20, Issue 11, pages 1289–1294, November 2000
How to Cite
Cauffield, J. S. (2000), The Psychosocial Aspects of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Pharmacotherapy, 20: 1289–1294. doi: 10.1592/phco.20.17.1289.34898
- Issue published online: 17 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 17 JAN 2012
Approximately one in four persons in the United States uses complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Out-of-pocket costs of CAM rival medical treatment at $21.2–32.7 billion versus $29.3 billion, respectively. Users of CAM tend to have high incomes and high levels of education. They also have medical conditions not easily treated by modern medicine such as chronic pain, poor mental health, human immunodeficiency virus infection, and cancer. The most common therapies are noninvasive (acupuncture, chiropractic, massage), however, consumption of dietary supplements has grown dramatically. Patients often use CAM in addition to modern medicine and are reluctant to discuss CAM with their physicians. Pharmacists' professional approach to science may bias them against CAM therapies. Complementary and alternative medicine use should be included in visit histories and discussed in an objective, nonjudgmental manner to encourage patient disclosure.