Methods: Data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) 2007 for adults aged 50 years and over were analyzed assessing the use of C/OM. National population estimates were generated using the complete NHIS survey design structure (clustering, stratification and weighting). Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using binary logistic regression models to assess the likelihood of respondents reporting having seen a practitioner for C/OM within the past 12 months as a function of practice- and respondent-related characteristics.
Results: 10.0% of the sample sought C/OM care in the past 12 months. C/OM users were less likely to be aged 65 or older (OR, 0.71; CI, 0.59- 0.86); to be Hispanic compared to white, non-Hispanic (OR, 0.65; CI, 0.45- 0.94); to have Medicare coverage; and to have received a flu shot within the past 12 months (OR, 0.81; CI, 0.67- 0.97). There were no significant differences in reported health status or in having a primary care physician. Back problems (56.0%) neck problems (13.8%) and other musculoskeletal complaints accounted for 87.6% of conditions; 10.7% of conditions were unspecified, and 1.7% were nonmusculoskeletal. 46.0% of respondents agreed that they sought care for C/OM for general wellness or disease prevention, 15.8% to improve energy, and 11.7% to improve immune function.
Conclusion: C/OM was the most commonly used provider-based complementary therapy for respondents aged 50 and older within the last 12 months, most commonly for musculoskeletal conditions but often for general wellness or disease prevention.
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