The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in Europe
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background While the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has become increasingly popular in western societies, we do not understand why CAM use is more frequent in some countries than in others. The aim of this article is to examine the determinants of CAM use at the individual and country-level. Methods Logistic multilevel regressions were applied analyzing data from 33,371 respondents in 21 European countries (including Israel) from the seventh round of the European Social Survey. We examined CAM in terms of overall use and also dichotomized treatments into physical and consumable subgroups. Results At the individual level, we found CAM use to be associated with a range of socioeconomic, demographic and health indicators. At the country level, we found that countries’ health expenditures were positively related to the prevalence of overall and physical CAM treatments. Conclusions A common predictor for CAM use, both at the individual (in terms of education and financial strain) and country-level (in terms of health expenditures per capita), is greater resources.