Complementary and alternative medicine practitioner consultations among those who have or have had cancer in a Norwegian total population (Nord-Trøndelag Health Study): prevalence, socio-demographics and health perceptions.
The aim of the study was to identify the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners among current and previous cancer patients in a total population. A secondary analysis of data from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (otherwise known as the HUNT 2 Study) - a total population survey conducted in central Norway - was undertaken. Analysis focused upon the response of 1406 individuals who reported to have or have had cancer and who answered a question on visits to CAM practitioners. The study identified 16.1% of respondents had visited a CAM practitioner in the prior 12 months compared with 12.8% in the total population, and the likelihood of consulting a CAM practitioner was significantly increased among those who had a university degree, who reported a lower perceived global health and who had experienced a health complaint during the last 12 months. Complementary and alternative medicine practitioner consultations among individuals with a previous or current malignant disease were highest for those with poor self-reported health status and with a recent health complaint. From the socio-demographic variables studied only the reporting of a university degree was significantly associated with higher CAM practitioner use.