National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

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Complementary and Alternative Medicine: What People Aged 50 and Older Discuss With Their Health Care Providers

AARP & NCCAM Survey Report (2010)

Do Americans aged 50 and older discuss the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) with their health care providers? To help answer this question, AARP and NCCAM partnered on a telephone survey of over 1,000 people aged 50 and older. Just over half of those surveyed reported using complementary and alternative medicine and over a third take some type of herbal product or dietary supplement. Yet only a third of all respondents and a little over half of CAM users said they have ever discussed CAM with their health care providers. These findings highlight the need for providers to ask about CAM use at every patient visit and the need for people aged 50 and older to know that CAM use is something that is important to discuss with their conventional medical providers.


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