Determinants of women consulting with a complementary and alternative medicine practitioner for pregnancy-related health conditions

Amie Steel, Jon Adams, David Sibbritt, Alex Broom, Cindy Gallois, Jane Frawley
Women & Health 2014, 54 (2): 127-44
The objective of this study was to explore the determinants that are related to women's likelihood to consult with a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioner during pregnancy. Primary data were collected as a sub-study of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH) in 2010. We completed a cross-sectional survey of 2,445 women from the ALSWH "younger" cohort (n=8,012), who had identified as being pregnant or had recently given birth in 2009. Independent Poisson backwards stepwise regression models were applied to four CAM practitioner outcome categories: acupuncturist, chiropractor, massage therapist, and naturopath. The survey was completed by 1,835 women (79.2%). The factors associated with women's consultation with a CAM practitioner differed by practitioner groups. A range of demographic factors were related, including employment status, financial status, and level of education. Women's health insurance coverage, health status, and perceptions toward both conventional maternity care and CAM were also associated with their likelihood of consultations with all practitioner groups, but in diverse ways. Determinants for women's consultations with a CAM practitioner varied across practitioner groups. Stakeholders and researchers would benefit from giving attention to specific individual modalities when considering CAM use in maternity care.

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