National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

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Time to Talk

Encourage Your Members to Talk About Complementary Health Practices

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Introduction

Did you know that nearly 40 percent of Americans age 18 or older have used some type of complementary health practice during their lifetime? People age 50 to 59 were among the most likely to report use. According to a 2010 survey* of people age 50 or older, 58 percent of those who reported using complementary health practices said that they had discussed them with a health care provider.

* 2010 Survey by AARP and NCCAM

What are complementary health practices?

Complementary health practices are a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products whose origins come from outside of mainstream medicine. They include such products and practices as herbal supplements, meditation, chiropractic manipulation, and acupuncture. More»

Why is it so important to Ask and Tell?

To ensure safe, coordinated care, it’s time to talk. Open discussion between health care providers and their patients not only allows fully integrated care, but it also minimizes risks of interactions with a patient’s conventional treatments. Man reading material. When patients tell their providers about their use of complementary health practices, they can better stay in control and more effectively manage their health. When providers ask their patients about their use of complementary health practices, they can ensure that they are fully informed and can help patients make the wisest health care decisions possible.

How can my organization get involved?

  • Download or order Time To Talk materials
  • Distribute Time To Talk materials at your annual meeting, health fairs, and/or community functions
  • Post available materials and information on Time To Talk in your member communications, including newsletters, e-mail alerts, Web sites, blogs, etc.
  • Keep in touch with the campaign. E-mail us and let us know what you're doing and how your members have creatively and effectively used the Time to Talk materials in their education outreach efforts.

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