Does Use of CAM for Specific Health Problems Increase With Reduced Access to Care?
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The objective of this paper was to determine predictors of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among individuals with specific health problems. Data were derived from the 1998 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). After adjustment for potential confounders, individuals with perceived barriers to obatining care were more likely to use any CAM treatment (OR 2.16), herbal therapy (OR 2.70) and spiritual care (OR 3.99) for a specific health problem. Individuals dissatisfied with their family’s access to care were more likely to use acupuncture (OR 3.43). Dissatisfaction with quality of care was associated with increased use of spiritual therapy (OR 4.74). Perceptions of inadequate access to health care may contribute to utilization of CAM therapies; such therapies in this instance appear to be used as an alternative to mainstream medicine.
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