The Utilization of Health Services and Self-Care by Older Women With Sleeping Problems: Results From a Nationally Representative Sample of 9,110 Women

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Aging and Health, 2018, 30 (4), pp. 540 - 558
Issue Date:
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© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017. Objective: This research aims to investigate the health service use—including complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)—and self-care by women aged 62 to 67 with sleeping problems. Method: In total, 9,110 participants (99.6%) responded to questions about sleeping problems, health service utilization and self-care (e.g., herbal medicines and vitamins), demographics, and chronic illnesses. Results: In all, 48.2% (n = 4,394) women indicated that they had a sleeping problem. Women with sleeping problems consulted a general practitioner (GP) more frequently (odds ratio [OR] = 1.72; 95% confidence interval [CI] = [1.36, 2.17]; p <.005) and were more likely to be using herbal medicines (OR = 1.24; 95% CI = [1.13, 1.36]; p <.005) than women without sleeping problems. Discussion: Health professionals, particularly GPs, may need to actively inquire with older patients in their care with sleeping problems about the use of herbal medicines, to ensure their sleeping problems are being directly and effectively treated, particularly in light of increased risks associated with sleeping problems for this age cohort.
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