Use of complementary and alternative medicine in people with diabetes [abstract] Abstract uri icon
  • Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic condition that affects over 23,000,000 Americans. Conventional allopathic approaches to DM care are often ineffective and although a large number of adults with DM use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) little is known about the level of use and how people with DM who choose to use CAM may differ from those who do not. We surveyed a random sample of 2,000 adults with diabetes in a large Midwest medical group regarding their use of CAM, health activities, and perceptions of their medical care. Preliminary data analysis indicates that over 56% used some type of CAM in the prior year including alternative medical systems, mind/body therapies, biologically based therapies, manipulative and body-based therapies, and energy therapies. Mind/body therapies (including meditation and deep breathing exercises) were used by 30% and were the most frequently reported type of CAM used; 35% of CAM users (or 20% of all respondents) reported using CAM specifically for their diabetes. Compared to non-users, CAM users were younger, female, more educated, and younger at DM diagnosis. They had significantly lower levels of self-reported physical and mental health and engaged in higher levels of some diabetes self-care activities. There were no differences in glycated hemoglobin (A1C) levels between groups and both reported very high levels of having a regular primary care doctor (93%), trust in their doctor, and satisfaction with their health care. Only 25% of CAM users reported discussing CAM use with their doctor and CAM users were significantly less likely to follow their doctor’s advice. CAM users also reported significantly higher beliefs in the concept of holistic health and scientific validity of CAM. Preliminary results indicate that high proportions of people with DM are using CAM in addition to their regular diabetes care.

  • publication date
  • 2010
  • published in
  • Alternative Therapies
  • Behavior
  • Diabetes
  • Additional Document Info
  • 39
  • issue
  • Suppl 1