Background: The aim was to explore the prevalence of visitors to CAM practitioners in a total population with reference to sex, self-rated health status and socio-demographic characteristics.
Methods: The paper reports findings from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT 2), a total population-based health survey of 42,277 respondents conducted in central Norway who answered questions on visits to a CAM practitioner. Variables included were age, marital status, education, receiving social welfare benefits, lifestyle (daily smoker), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS-T), self-rated health status, and having a limiting chronic complaint.
Results: Some 12.8% (95% CI 12.5-13.1) of the population had visited a CAM practitioner in the last 12 months, with females visiting almost twice as often as males. Multivariate analysis showed that consulting a CAM practitioner was significantly associated in both sexes with being middle-aged (male age 40-49 OR 1.6 (1.2-2.0), female age 30-39 OR 1.4 (1.1-1.6)); poor self-rated health status (male OR 5.1 (3.1-8.5), female 3.9 (2.2-6.8 )); and reporting a chronic complaint (male OR 1.5 (1.3-1.8), female OR 1.4 (1.2-1.6)). Daily smoking of cigarettes was associated with a decreased likelihood for visiting a CAM practitioner (male OR 0.7 (0.6-0.9), female OR 0.8 (0.7-0.9)). In females, both a higher total HADS-T score (score >20 OR 1.5 (1.2-2.0)) and middle-level education (OR 1.2 (1.1-1.4)) were associated with visiting a CAM practitioner.
Conclusions: Visitors to CAM practitioners had lower self-reported health than non-users, but socio-demographic variables did not discriminate between users and non-users.
Copyright 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel.