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J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Jul;16(7):701-6. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0442.

Effects of complementary therapy on health in a national U.S. sample of older adults.

Author information

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

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The study objectives were to identify types of complementary therapy that are most predictive of health outcomes, including functional status, physical health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and mental HRQoL among older adults.

DESIGN:

This was a prospective study.

SETTINGS/LOCATION:

The study comprised computer-assisted interviews conducted in participants' homes.

SUBJECTS:

Subjects included 1683 adults aged 55 and older who participated in the 2002 National Health Interview Survey and the 2003 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

INTERVENTION:

None.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Functional status, physical HRQoL, and mental HRQoL at 1-year follow-up.

RESULTS:

The use of biologically based therapies predicted better functional status, such that users reported less functional impairment than nonusers (p < 0.01), adjusting for age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, health insurance, household income, and comorbid conditions. Users of manipulative and body-based methods reported less functional impairment (p < 0.05). They also reported better physical and mental health-related quality of life, though these relationships were marginally significant. Other groups of therapies, alternative medical systems, mind-body therapies, and prayer were not predictive of either functional status or HRQoL.

CONCLUSIONS:

Favorable effects were observed among users of biologically based therapies and users of manipulative and body-based methods. Other types of complementary therapy had no effects on health status over a 1-year follow-up period.

PMID:
20590482
PMCID:
PMC3110827
DOI:
10.1089/acm.2009.0442
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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