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 6

Why CAM Is Not Discussed With Health Care Providers

From patients' point of view, the two main reasons that they and their health care providers do not discuss CAM are that the provider never asks (42 percent), or that they did not know they should bring it up (30 percent). As Figure 9 illustrates, the same was true 4 years ago.

Reasons differed somewhat based on respondents' education:

  • A third (33 percent) of those with some college or less education said they had not discussed CAM with a health care provider because they did not know they should, compared with about a fifth (18 percent) of college graduates.
  • 15 percent of those with a high school education or less thought their health care provider would have been dismissive or told them not to do it, compared with 7 percent of college graduates.
  • 14 percent of those with a high school education or less were more likely to say they were not comfortable discussing CAM with their health care provider compared with 5 percent of college graduates.

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