The prevalence and determinants of Chinese medicine use by Australian women: Analysis of a cohort of 10,287 women aged 56-61 years
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 2013, 41 (2), pp. 281 - 291
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This study aimed to examine the factors associated with Chinese medicine use amongst a sample of 10,287 Australian women aged 56-61 years. Data was obtained from a cross-sectional postal questionnaire conducted in 2007, this being the fifth survey of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. This representative sample of 10,287 women was randomly selected from the Health Insurance Commission (Medicare) database. The outcome measure was the use of Chinese medicine in the previous 12 months. The predictive factors included demographics, health status measures and health service utilization measures. Statistical analyses included univariate chi-square and ANOVA tests and backward stepwise multiple logistic regression modelling. The use of Chinese medicine amongst women aged 56-61 years appears to be strongly influenced by their country of birth, consultation with a range of CAM practitioners, and the use of some self-prescribed CAM. Interestingly, severe tiredness was the only symptom or diagnosis that predicted Chinese medicine use. Given the substantial prevalence of Chinese medicine use and the finding that the use of Chinese medicine is heavily integrated alongside the use of many other CAM and conventional treatments, it is imperative for the safety of patients that health professionals (across complementary and conventional healthcare) fully recognise the possible Chinese medicine use amongst their practice populations. In order to help inform relevant practice and policy development it is also important that future research further examining women's decision-making, motivations and evaluations regarding Chinese medicine use considers such issues within the context of broader CAM and conventional health care utilization. © 2013 World Scientific Publishing Company & Institute for Advanced Research in Asian Science and Medicine.
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