More than half of US office-based physicians recommend CHA


More than half of US office-based physicians recommend CHA


New research has revealed that over half (53.1%) of office-based physicians in the United States, across specialty areas, recommended at least one complementary health approach (CHA) to their parents during the previous year. Female physicians (63.2%) were found to be more likely to recommend a CHA than male physicians (49.3%).

The study found that each physician’s sex, race, specialty, and U.S. region were all significant predictors of CHA recommendation.

The recommendations given by physicians to their parents were analysed to find any CHA or individual approaches, including massage therapy, herbs and non-vitamin supplements, chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation, yoga, acupuncture, and mind-body therapies. Massage therapy was found to be the most commonly recommended CHA, followed by chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation, herbs and non-vitamin supplements, yoga, and acupuncture.

The physician’s specialty was also looked at. Areas included general/family practice physicians, psychiatrists, OB/GYNs, and paediatricians. While this data is still being analysed, the authors believe that the findings will “enable consumers, physicians, and medical schools to better understand potential differences in use of CHAs with patients.”

JACM Editor-in-Chief John Weeks states: "It is remarkable that these 2012 data pre-date the systematic inclusion of complementary and integrative approaches in pain and opioid-related guidelines and reports from the Joint Commission, National Academy of Medicine, American College of Physicians, Food and Drug Administration, and others in the 7 years since. The data likely significantly understate present level of recommendations of complementary health practices by physicians."

Full study:


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