Doctors, Nurses Often Use Holistic Medicine for Themselves
AUGUST 19, 2011
U.S. health care workers, especially doctors and nurses, use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) far more than do workers in other fields, according to a new study. CAM includes diverse therapies outside the realm of conventional medicine. Overall, 76 percent of health care workers report CAM usage, compared with 63 percent of the general working population.
Health care workers use chiropractic treatment, massage and acupuncture for conditions that conventional medicine does not address well, said study co-author Lori Knutson, executive director of the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing with Allina Hospitals and Clinics in Minneapolis. While conventional providers often treat common issues such as back pain with pain medication, holistic providers address root causes, she said.
...The researchers used data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, analyzing responses from 14,329 working adults. Their findings appear online in the journal Health Services Research.
The study looked at practitioner-based CAM, such as acupuncture; self-treatment with CAM, such as practicing Pilates; and any CAM usage such as following a vegetarian diet, meditating and taking certain herbs.
Doctors and nurses had more than twice the odds of having used a practitioner-based CAM method during the prior year and nearly three times the use of self-treatment with CAM than support workers.