Why patients use alternative health care
A study in the May 20, 1998 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association finds some very interesting reasons why people are willing to go outside the standard medical sick care system and pay for these services out of their own pocket without benefit of a third party payor.
The study first asked participants to rate the three most “bothersome” or “serious” conditions they are faced with. Back pain came out on top at 19.7% followed by allergies at 16.6%, strains / sprains, 15.7%, digestive problems at 14.5% and lung problems at 13%.
The top four wellness disciplines chosen were Chiropractic at 15.7%, lifestyle and diet changes at 8%, exercise at 7.2% and relaxation techniques at 6.9%.
The study also tried to find those things that would predict which patients would be more likely to use a wellness discipline. These included being more educated, being a cultural creative, having a transformational experience that changed a person’s world view, having poorer overall health, believing in the importance of body, mind and spirit and reporting any of the following, anxiety, back problems, chronic pain or urinary tract infections.
5% of the study participants used wellness disciplines as their primary form of health care. Their reasons were because they distrusted medical doctors and hospitals, they desired control over their health, they were dissatisfied with medical care and had a strong belief in the importance of their inner life and experiences.
People who used the wellness disciplines reported that the benefits were 1) I get relief for my symptoms, the pain or discomfort is less or goes away, I feel better. 2) The treatment works better for my particular health problem than standards medicine’s. 3) The treatment promotes health rather than just focusing on illness.
Or, in other words, people having health problems who were more educated, creative and understand the importance of a healthy mind, body and spirit were more likely to utilize wellness disciplines such as chiropractic. Sounds like a good group.