Back pain amongst mid-age Australian women: a longitudinal analysis of provider use and self-prescribed treatments.Complement Ther Med. 2012 Oct; 20(5):275-82.CT
To analyse use of conventional and complementary and alternative (CAM) practitioners and self-prescribed CAM amongst mid-age Australian women with back pain.
Self-completion postal surveys completed in 2004 and 2007, of the mid-age cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's health. Questions asked for written responses about the use of conventional practitioners, CAM practitioners and self-prescribed CAM for treatment of back pain.
Analysis of cross-sectional and longitudinal survey data (n=9820), conducted as part of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health (ALSWH), which was designed to investigate multiple factors affecting the health and well being of women over a 20-year period.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE
Women were asked if they had sought help for back pain in the previous twelve months.
The prevalence of back pain was 54.8% (n=5383). The percentage of women who sought help for their back pain was 17.3% (n=1700). Of the women who sought help for back pain, 2% consulted with a CAM practitioner only, 35% consulted a conventional practitioner only and 63% with both a conventional and CAM practitioner.
Back pain is prevalent amongst mid-age Australian women, although only one third sought help. Women who sought help for their back pack were high users of CAM (practitioners and self-prescribed) and conventional care providers, consulting a CAM practitioner in complement with conventional biomedical consultations rather than as an alternative. Further research is needed to explore the complex contemporary landscapes of back pain negotiation and management.