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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2009 Sep;64(5):635-43. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbp011. Epub 2009 Mar 13.

Complementary therapy use and health self-management among rural older adults.

Author information

1
Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1084, USA. tarcury@wfubmc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This article describes dimensions of complementary therapy use among rural older adults, employs these dimensions to delineate sets of complementary therapy use, and describes the personal characteristics related to each set of complementary therapy use.

METHODS:

Data are from in-depth interviews conducted with 62 African American and White rural older adults.

RESULTS:

Three dimensions of complementary therapy use are delineated: types of therapies used, mindfulness in therapy use, and sharing information with conventional health care providers. The intersection of these dimensions indicates 5 patterned sets of complementary therapy use among rural older adults: (a) mindful use of only home remedies; (b) mindful use of home remedies and contemporary supplements; (c) mindful use of home remedies, contemporary supplements, and complementary practices; (d) nonmindful use of home remedies and contemporary supplements; and (e) use of conventional care only. Involvement in the 5 sets of therapy use is related to sex, ethnicity, educational attainment, and migration.

DISCUSSION:

Understanding how older adults include sets of complementary therapies in their health self-management is important for improving their health care resources, expectations, awareness, and priorities.

PMID:
19289376
PMCID:
PMC2728088
DOI:
10.1093/geronb/gbp011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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