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CAM: Why do patients visit chiropractors, acupuncturists, or massage therapists?

This large study describes 7 years of data from insured adults receiving chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage therapy in a fee-for-service CAM center within an IHDS [integrated health care delivery system].”

The reasons that Kaiser Permanente patients made appointments for a first visit to complementary and alternative medicine providers were studied for the period 2007 to 2014.  Two-thirds of the over 27,000 patients studied made appointments to see chiropractors, the remaining appointments were roughly evenly split between acupuncturists and massage therapists.  Here are the results for the number one most frequent complaint for patients making that first CAM appointment:

  • 82 percent of visits to chiropractors were for pain in the spine or trunk
  • 58 percent of visits to massage therapists were for pain in the spine or trunk
  • 39 percent of visits to acupuncturists were for pain in the spine or trunk

This study was conducted at the Centers for Complementary Medicine, which is part of KP Colorado.

Source: McCubbin, T., Kempe, K.L., and Beck, A. (2017, Summer). Complementary and alternative medicine in an integrated health care delivery system: Users of chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage services. The Permanente Journal. 21. Click here: http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/files/2017/16-172.pdf  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Survey of Hospitals

Results of a 2010 survey on complementary and alternative medicine [CAM] services being offered by hospitals are now available. Here are highlights of findings:

  • Massage therapy,  acupuncture, and guided imagery were the top outpatient CAM services offered by reporting hospitals, while pet therapy, massage therapy, and music/art therapy ranked at the top of the list for inpatients.
  • Top wellness services offered to patients were pastoral care, nutrition counseling, and smoking cessation. For hospital employees, stress management, fitness training, and smoking cessation were most prevalent.
  • Patient demand was the leading reason for hospitals to offer CAM services.
  • Since most CAM services are not covered by insurance plans, the services were most often self-paid by patients.
  • Most CAM programs cost under $200,000 for start-up.
  • For hospitals discontinuing CAM programs, poor financial performance was the primary reason.

The survey was a collaboration between the Samueli Institute and the American Hospital Association/Health Forum, with support from the U.S. Army.

Source: Ananth S. 2010 complementary and alternative medicine survey of hospitals. Samueli Institute, Sept. 2011. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CC0QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.samueliinstitute.org%2FFile%2520Library%2FOur%2520Research%2FOHE%2FCAM_Survey_2010_oct6.pdf&ei=WGB6U-nJD4SbyATayYKIBQ&usg=AFQjCNGxBK6bTFa8lpkniVjgAEBcUjGXlg&bvm=bv.67229260,d.aWw


Related resources: Firth K; Smith K. 2010 survey of healing environments in American hospitals: nature and prevalence. Samueli Institute, 2012. https://www.samueliinstitute.org/file%20library/our%20research/ohe/2010-ohe-report-finalpdf_2012-1-3-web.pdf

Firth K; Smith K. 2007 survey of healing environments in American hospitals: nature and prevalence. Samueli Institute, 2011. http://www.samueliinstitute.org/file%20library/our%20research/ohe/ohe-hospital-survey-final-report-2007.pdf

Posted by AHA Resource Center, (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org