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Many Health-Care Workers Have Turned to Alternative Medicine
Date:8/26/2011

By Alan Mozes
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Three out of every four U.S. health-care workers use some form of complementary or alternative medicine or practice to help stay healthy, a new report shows.

What's more, doctors, nurses and their assistants, health technicians, and healthcare administrators were actually more likely than the general public to use any number of wide-ranging alternative medicine options, including massage, yoga, acupuncture, Pilates or herbal medicines.

"No one has really done this sort of analysis before, so when I saw our results I was authentically surprised," acknowledged study co-author Lori Knutson, executive director of the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing with the Allina Health System in Minneapolis. "But pleasantly so. Because clearly this means that even our health-care workers are recognizing the need for alternative options in the search for ways to improve our health and lives."

Knutson and her colleagues reported their findings this month in the journal Health Services Research.

According to the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (part of the National Institutes of Health), about 38 percent of Americans currently avail themselves of some form of complementary/alternative medicine, which can also include dietary supplements, meditation, chiropractic services, Pilates, and Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine.

The poll data, collected in 2007 as part of the National Health Interview Survey, looked at use among a nationally representative sample of more than 14,300 working adults 18 years old and up. About 1,300 of those surveyed were health-care providers and workers employed in either a hospital or ambulatory environment.

The survey covered 36 different forms of options, including therapies involving body manipulation, mind-body and biological-based therapies, and ene
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