The study, from the University of Michigan Health System, retrospectively examined data from 5,750 patients collected during 1994 to 2000 [Ndao-Brumblay and Green 2010]. Investigators found that 1 out of 3 participants with chronic pain reported using CAM therapies for chronic pain relief: specifically, 8.3% used acupuncture, 13.0% used biofeedback/relaxation, and 24.9% used manipulation techniques (eg, chiropractic or physical therapy procedures). A number of trends also were reported:
- Overall, whites used alternative modalities more frequently than blacks. In particular, blacks used less biofeedback/relaxation and manipulation treatments than whites.
- Elderly adults had a higher frequency of using CAM therapies than younger adults. Increasing age was related to more acupuncture use, but less use of biofeedback/relaxation.
- Higher education levels and perceived pain control were positively associated with use of all 3 CAM modalities.
- Women marginally used more biofeedback/relaxation services than men, and depressive symptoms in men or women were not related to CAM therapies utilization.
> Hasouris T. Use of Alternative Medicine for Pain Relief Increases With Age and Wealth. Health & Medicine for Senior Citizens [online]. 2010(Apr 29) [available here].
> Ndao-Brumblay SK, Green CR. Predictors of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in Chronic Pain Patients. Pain Med. 2010;11(1):16-24 [abstract here].