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 [F] Diseases Research  / PubMed Research Articles  /
Complementary and Alternative Medicine in U.S. Adults with Diabetes: Reasons for Use and Perceived Benefits.




Journal of diabetes 2017 Sep 12; ()


Rhee TG1; Westberg SM2; Harris IM3;

Author Information
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT.
  • 2Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
  • 3Department of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.


OBJECTIVES: While complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasingly used, little is known about reasons for CAM use (treatment, wellness or both) and self-reported perceived benefits among U.S. adults with diabetes at the national level. We estimated prevalence rates of overall and specific types of CAM by reason for use, and examined perceived benefits of using CAM by reason for use among U.S. adults with diabetes.

METHODS: We used cross-sectional data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, which represents non-institutionalized adults with diabetes (n = 3,386 unweighted). We estimated prevalence rates of CAM use by reason. We conducted multivariate logistic regression analyses to investigate the odds of perceived benefits of CAM by reason for use, when controlled for covariates.

RESULTS: 26.2% of U.S. adults with diabetes reported using some form of CAM in the past year. Among CAM users, 56.7% used CAM for both treatment and wellness, and 28.3% used CAM for wellness only. Only 15.0% used CAM for treatment only. Regardless of reasons for use, most commonly used CAM types in the past year were herbal therapies (56.9%), chiropractic (25.3%), and massage (20.2%). Regarding self-reported perceived benefits, those who used CAM for a combination of both treatment and wellness had a higher likelihood of reporting "a better sense of control over their health" (p = 0.011) and "improved overall health and feeling better" (p = 0.014) when compared to those using CAM for treatment only.

CONCLUSION: CAM may be promising approaches to improve health-related quality of life, but future research should address efficacy and patient safety.

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Publication Type: Journal Article

This article is licensed under the the National Library of Medicine License. It uses material from the PubMed National Library of Medicine Data.

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