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

Findings Page 5

Specific Information Discussed

As shown in Figure 8, respondents said their health care providers most often discussed:

  • the potential of interactions between CAM and other medications or treatments (44 percent)
  • advice on whether to pursue CAM treatments (41 percent)
  • the effectiveness of CAM therapies (41 percent), what type of CAM to use (40 percent)
  • the safety of CAM therapies (38 percent).

Those with a high school education or less were more likely than college graduates to report that their health care provider had discussed how the CAM therapy might interact with other medications or treatments (50 vs. 35 percent). No other demographic differences were noted.

Respondents who said they had discussed CAM with a health care provider but had not discussed a specific topic were asked if they would like to do so. From one-quarter to about one-third of respondents indicated interest in discussing each of the specific CAM topics shown in Figure 8.

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