Utilization of complementary and alternative medicine and conventional medicine for headache or migraine during pregnancy: A cross-sectional survey of 1,835 pregnant women

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2018, 41 pp. 192 - 195
Issue Date:
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© 2018 Objectives: Little is known about women's use of health services affected by headache or migraine during pregnancy. This paper directly addresses the research gap reporting on the healthcare utilization among Australian pregnant women experiencing headache or migraine. Design and setting: In this retrospective observational study, data on 1,835 Australian pregnant women were obtained from the nationally-representative Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Information on quality of life and health seeking behaviors regarding conventional medicine and complementary and alternative medicine providers was identified among these participants. Factors associated with healthcare use were analyzed using regression analyses. Results: A total of 16% of the pregnant women surveyed experienced headache or migraine, and over 20% sought help from more than two types of healthcare practitioners for their headache or migraine. General practitioners (37.8%) were the most commonly consulted providers of pregnant women for their headache or migraine. Women with headache or migraine during pregnancy had worse health-related quality of life than those without. Education level and private health insurance status of pregnant women are the predictors of the use of healthcare practitioners for their management of headache or migraine (both p < 0.05). Conclusions: Headache or migraine during pregnancy significantly impacts upon pregnant women's quality of life. The use of multiple healthcare practitioners, including conventional medicine and complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, highlights the need for further research investigating health services utilization of pregnant women with headache or migraine in different severity and frequency to help inform effective and safe treatment.
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