Complementary and alternative medicine practitioner use prior to pregnancy predicts use during pregnancy

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Women and Health, 2016, 56 (8), pp. 926 - 939
Issue Date:
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© 2016 Taylor & Francis. The objective of the authors in this study was to determine if prior visits to a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioner were associated with CAM use during pregnancy. The study sample comprised the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health. Women were surveyed prior to pregnancy in 2006, and then again in 2010 if they were pregnant or had recently given birth, and asked a range of questions relating to demographic variables, health status, and use of CAM. A multivariable analysis identified significant covariates associated with visits to specific CAM practitioner modalities during pregnancy. Of the 447 women who consulted a CAM practitioner prior to pregnancy, 62.4% (n = 279) continued this use during pregnancy. Prior use of massage therapy, acupuncture, herbalist/naturopath, or chiropractor was related to use of the same service during pregnancy. Higher income and working full-time were associated with the continued use of massage, while continued visits to a chiropractor were associated with having depressive symptoms, a urinary tract infection, and living in a rural community. Prior use of CAM was highly related to continuing use during pregnancy. Further research is required to elucidate the benefits women attain from a CAM-model of care that they do not get from their conventional maternity care providers alone.
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