Women's attitudes towards the use of complementary and alternative medicine products during pregnancy

J Obstet Gynaecol. 2016 May;36(4):462-7. doi: 10.3109/01443615.2015.1072804. Epub 2015 Oct 15.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to analyse women's attitudes towards the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) products during pregnancy. The study sample was obtained via the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health or ALSWH. A response rate of 79.2% (n = 1,835) was attained. Women who use herbal medicines (34.5%, n = 588) view CAM as a preventative measure, are looking for something holistic and are concerned about evidence of clinical efficacy when considering the use of these products during pregnancy. Women who use aromatherapy (17.4%, n = 319) and homoeopathy (13.3%, n = 244) want more personal control over their body and are concerned more about their own personal experience of the efficacy of CAM than clinical evidence of efficacy. As CAM use in pregnancy appears to be increasingly commonplace, insights into women's attitudes towards CAM are valuable for maternity healthcare providers.

Keywords: Complementary and alternative medicine; attitudes; pregnancy.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Australia
  • Complementary Therapies / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult