Health services use among young Australian women with allergies, hayfever and sinusitis: A longitudinal analysis

Publisher:
Elsevier
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2012, 20 (3), pp. 135 - 142
Issue Date:
2012-06
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The existing knowledge base on the use of complementary and alternative medicine among patients with allergies is built upon findings of cross-sectional surveys and there is a lack of longitudinal data. There is also a lack of studies that examine both the use of conventional medicine and complementary and alternative medicine among allergy patients. This paper reports the findings of the first ever longitudinal study of the use of conventional providers, practitioners of complementary and alternative medicine, and self-prescribed modalities amongst women with allergies, hayfever and sinusitis from a large nationally representative sample. Analysis focused upon data from 7538 women from the younger cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health collected between 1996 and 2006. Chi-square tests were employed to compare the groups across consultations and self-prescribed treatments and one-way analysis of variance was used to compare the groups across health status. A modified Bonferroni test was used to correct for multiple comparisons. The study identified that women who sought help for their allergic disorder were more likely to consult a range of practitioners and self-prescribed complementary and alternative medicine than women who either did not seek help or did not have allergic disorders. The analysis shows that many women with allergic disorders use complementary and alternative medicine alongside or as a complement to conventional healthcare services. The frequent use of a range of conventional providers and practitioner-based and self-prescribed complementary and alternative medicine amongst women with allergic disorders warrants further investigation.
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