Who uses complementary and alternative medicine in Israel?

Amanda Sue Niskar, Tamar Peled-Leviatan, Noga Garty-Sandalon
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: Research on Paradigm, Practice, and Policy 2007, 13 (9): 989-95

OBJECTIVE: To describe the Israeli complementary and alternative medicine users and examine whether they are the same or different from non-users.

DESIGN: This analysis was conducted on data collected from the use of health services module (n=2,365) of the Israeli National Health Interview Survey conducted 2003-2004. The questionnaire was based on the European Health Interview Survey and was administered over the telephone by trained interviewers.

SUBJECTS: This survey was conducted on a random sample of the Israel general population age 21 years or more.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Chi-square tests and logistic regression analyses were conducted. Complementary and alternative medicine was defined as self-reported use of homeopath, acupuncturist, chiropractor/osteopath, naturopath, or other complementary and alternative provider services for the subjects' own health needs in the last 12 months.

RESULTS: Almost 6 percent of Israelis reported using complementary and alternative medicine. Use increased with income. Users were more likely to visit any doctor or a specialist in the prior 4 weeks to the survey compared to nonusers. Users self-reported similar use of pain medications compared to nonusers.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings inform the international debate regarding if and how complementary and alternative medicine services should be covered by national health insurance.

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