Who Uses Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Israel?

J Altern Complement Med. 2007 Nov;13(9):989-95. doi: 10.1089/acm.2007.0599.


Objective: To describe the Israeli complementary and alternative medicine users and examine whether they are the same or different from non-users.

Design: This analysis was conducted on data collected from the use of health services module (n=2,365) of the Israeli National Health Interview Survey conducted 2003-2004. The questionnaire was based on the European Health Interview Survey and was administered over the telephone by trained interviewers.

Subjects: This survey was conducted on a random sample of the Israel general population age 21 years or more.

Outcome measures: Chi-square tests and logistic regression analyses were conducted. Complementary and alternative medicine was defined as self-reported use of homeopath, acupuncturist, chiropractor/osteopath, naturopath, or other complementary and alternative provider services for the subjects' own health needs in the last 12 months.

Results: Almost 6 percent of Israelis reported using complementary and alternative medicine. Use increased with income. Users were more likely to visit any doctor or a specialist in the prior 4 weeks to the survey compared to nonusers. Users self-reported similar use of pain medications compared to nonusers.

Conclusions: These findings inform the international debate regarding if and how complementary and alternative medicine services should be covered by national health insurance.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Complementary Therapies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Satisfaction / statistics & numerical data
  • Preventive Health Services / statistics & numerical data*