Consultations with complementary and alternative medicine practitioners amongst wider care options for back pain: a study of a nationally representative sample of 1,310 Australian women aged 60-65 years

Vijayendra Murthy, David Sibbritt, Jon Adams, Alex Broom, Emma Kirby, Kathryn M Refshauge
Clinical Rheumatology 2014, 33 (2): 253-62
Back pain is a significant health service issue in Australia and internationally. Back pain sufferers can draw upon a range of health care providers including complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners. Women are higher users of health services than men and tend to use CAM frequently for musculoskeletal conditions. However, there remain important gaps in our understanding of women's consultation patterns with CAM practitioners for back pain. The objective of this study is to examine the prevalence of use and characteristics of women who use CAM practitioners for back pain. The method used was a survey of a nationally representative sample of women aged 60-65 years from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Women consulted a massage therapist (44.1 %, n = 578) and a chiropractor (37.3 %, n = 488) more than other CAM practitioners for their back pain. Consultations with a chiropractor for back pain were lower for women who consulted a General Practitioner (GP) (OR, 0.56; 95 % CI 0.41, 0.76) or a physiotherapist (OR, 0.53; 95 % CI 0.39, 0.72) than for those who did not consult a GP or a physiotherapist. CAM practitioner consultations for back pain were greater for women who visited a pharmacist (OR, 1.99; 95 % CI 1.23, 3.32) than for women who did not visit a pharmacist. There is substantial use of CAM practitioners alongside conventional practitioners amongst women for back pain, and there is a need to provide detailed examination of the communication between patients and their providers as well as across the diverse range of health professionals involved in back pain care.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Available on the App Store

Available on the Play Store
Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"