Use of complementary and alternative medicines by a sample of Australian women during pregnancy

Skouteris, Helen, Wertheim, Eleanor H., Rallis, Sofia, Paxton, Susan J., Kelly, Leanne and Milgrom, Jeannette 2008, Use of complementary and alternative medicines by a sample of Australian women during pregnancy, The Australian and New Zealand journal of obstetrics and gynaecology, vol. 48, no. 4, pp. 384-390.

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Title Use of complementary and alternative medicines by a sample of Australian women during pregnancy
Author(s) Skouteris, Helen
Wertheim, Eleanor H.
Rallis, Sofia
Paxton, Susan J.
Kelly, Leanne
Milgrom, Jeannette
Journal name The Australian and New Zealand journal of obstetrics and gynaecology
Volume number 48
Issue number 4
Start page 384
End page 390
Total pages 7
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of publication Milton, Qld
Publication date 2008-08
ISSN 0004-8666
1479-828X
Keyword(s) alternative medicines
CAM
obstetrics
pregnancy
women's health
Summary Background: The use of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) is growing in Australia, with women higher users than men. Yet, only a few Australian studies have explored the use of CAM during pregnancy.

Aims
: To explore the use of CAM, the types of CAM practitioners consulted, physical symptoms/complaints for which CAM are used by a sample of pregnant Australian women, and women's perceptions of the efficacy of CAM in treating those complaints.

Methods: Three hundred and twenty-one pregnant women, who volunteered for a study exploring women's well-being during pregnancy, completed a self-report questionnaire in their late second/early third trimester.

Results: Seventy-three per cent of women had used at least one kind of complementary therapy in the prior eight weeks of pregnancy. Over one-third of the women had visited at least one alternative medicine practitioner during pregnancy. Approximately one-third of the women reported taking CAM to alleviate a specific physical symptom, with 95.7% of these women reporting they either got completely better or a little bit better with use of CAM; one quarter reported planning to use an alternative therapy to assist with labour preparation. Age, number of physical symptoms experienced, income level and level of education were not associated with greater use of CAM (P < 0.05); however, women reporting more physical symptoms were more likely to consult a CAM practitioner.

Conclusion
: Findings highlight the substantial use of CAM during pregnancy and the need to have all health professionals adequately informed about such therapies during this life stage.
Language eng
Field of Research 170106 Health
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2008
Copyright notice ©2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30017685

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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