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Two-Thirds of Older Adults Use Integrative Medicine Strategies

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Two-Thirds of Older Adults Use Integrative Medicine Strategies

FRIDAY, Aug. 5, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Many older adults report using at least one integrative medicine strategy, according to the results of the latest University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging.

Researchers from the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation in Ann Arbor surveyed 2,277 adults aged 50 to 80 years regarding their interest in and experiences with integrative medicine strategies.

According to the survey, 66 percent of respondents reported using at least one integrative medicine strategy to prevent or treat a health concern; 21 percent had an interest in trying them; and 13 percent had not used and had no interest in trying any integrative medicine strategies. Massage therapy, chiropractic care, meditation and mindfulness, yoga, and acupuncture were the most common strategies used (41, 41, 27, 24, and 16 percent, respectively). Compared with men, women were more likely to currently use integrative medicine strategies (44 versus 31 percent), as were those aged 50 to 64 years versus 65 to 80 years (41 versus 35 percent). Ninety-one percent of older adults who used one or more integrative strategies found them beneficial (38 percent "very" and 53 percent "somewhat"). Overall, 18 percent of older adults had talked to a health care provider about integrative medicine strategies. Twenty-six, 29, and 31 percent of adults said their health care provider asks about lifestyle factors at all, most, and some medical visits, respectively, while 14 percent said their health care provider never asks. Those whose primary care provider talked about lifestyle factors at all or most visits were more likely to use integrative strategies (42 versus 33 percent).

"Facilitating conversations about integrative strategies in primary care and removing barriers to these strategies when they are most likely to yield benefits may expand options for improving older adults' health and well-being," the authors write.

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