A longitudinal analysis of older Australian women's consultations with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners, 1996-2005

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Journal Article
Age and Ageing, 2009, 38 (1), pp. 93 - 99
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Objective: to determine the factors associated with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among older Australian women over time. Methods: a longitudinal analysis of postal questionnaires completed in 1996, 1999, 2002 and 2005 as part of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. Results: the percentage of women who consulted a CAM practitioner in the years 1996, 1999, 2002 and 2005 were 14.6%, 12.1%, 10.9% and 9.9%;, respectively. Use of CAM increased as the number of reported symptoms increased and physical health deteriorated, for non-urban residents compared to urban residents. Conclusion: use of CAM amongst older women appears to be strongly influenced by poor physical health. There is also a suggestion that lack of access to conventional health care providers increases CAM use. There is also an overall decline in the use of CAM among older women as they age. © The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Geriatrics Society. All rights reserved.
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