More adults are using complementary and alternative medicine in England

Up-to-date general population figures for practitioner-led CAM use in England.


In 2005,12% of the English population visited a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioner. A new study by the University of Bristol‘s Centre for Academic Primary Care now suggests that utilization of practitioner-led complementary and alternative medication (CAM), for example, acupuncture, massage, osteopathy, and chiropractic treatment, ascended from 12 percent of the populace in 2005 to 16 percent of the populace in 2015.

For the study, scientists gathered some information about their CAM use over the most recent a year. Out of a representative test of 4,862 respondents matured 15 and more than, 766 (16 percent) said they had seen a CAM practitioner.

A large number of women than men and more individuals in higher socioeconomic gatherings (A-C) than in lower financial gatherings (D-E) utilized CAM. CAM use was twice as high in the south of England contrasted and the North and Midlands.

The greater part of CAM users either paid for treatment themselves or had it paid for by companions or family (67 percent). Most CAM clients self-referred (either found the experts themselves or through a proposal from a companion or family) (70 percent). A little extent was alluded by their GP (17 percent) or other health professionals (four percent) and a greater amount of these was from lower socioeconomic gatherings.

Professor Debbie Sharp, from the Centre for Academic Primary Care and lead author of the study, said: “This survey shows that CAM is widely used by the general population, especially for musculoskeletal and mental health problems, with a slight increase in use since 2005.”

“Access, however, is unequal and most people who see a CAM practitioner are better off and pay for it themselves. We also asked about people’s willingness to pay for CAM and found, unsurprisingly, that it seemed to be based on ability to pay. However, percent of non-CAM users said they would be willing to part-pay if the NHS or other organizations paid the rest.”

The main reasons for CAM use were for musculoskeletal problems, particularly back pain (38 percent), and other musculoskeletal pain (neck pain, shoulder pain or knee pain) (22 percent). Mental health accounted for 12 percent of CAM use, including for minor depression, anxiety or stress (seven percent) and sleep problems, tiredness or fatigue (four percent).

Dr. Ava Lorenc, co-author from the Centre for Academic Primary Care, added: “Current UK health policy advocates patient-centered care and has a focus on prevention and patient self-management. Greater integration of CAM services into NHS primary care could address the inequality in access that we found, for example, through social prescribing.”

“This survey was part of a wider scoping study for a trial to test the effectiveness of CAM for people with both musculoskeletal and mental health problems, which we hope will add to the evidence base for CAM.”

The survey, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), undertaken by Ipsos MORI and published in BJGP Open today.

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