Use of complementary and alternative healthcare practices among persons served by a remote area medical clinic

Fam Community Health. 2008 Jul-Sep;31(3):221-7. doi: 10.1097/01.FCH.0000324479.32836.6b.


Remote rural communities are often without adequate healthcare resources. To address the need in one area of Appalachia, an annual medical clinic is held to provide free healthcare services to residents of Appalachia. The Appalachian culture has a number of unique features that influence the healthcare practices of persons living in this region. Cultural values and beliefs about health and the use of complementary and alternative therapies among those attending the remote rural clinic are described, with faith healing, including prayer, and family-taught remedies being the most commonly used complementary and alternative medicine modalities.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Appalachian Region
  • Complementary Therapies / methods
  • Complementary Therapies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cultural Characteristics
  • Educational Status
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medically Underserved Area*
  • Middle Aged
  • Religion and Medicine
  • Rural Health Services*