Australians with osteoarthritis; the use of and beliefs about complementary and alternative medicines

Martin Basedow, William B. Runciman, Lyn March, Adrian Esterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To investigate complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use amongst a cohort of osteoarthritis (OA) sufferers and to explore reasons for use. Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess CAM use and its relationship with self-rated health status, patient knowledge of OA and attitudes towards OA management. Results: Sixty-nine percent of respondents (95% CI, 64%-73%) reported that they had tried CAM, with little difference between age groups and genders. Patients who had a better knowledge of their condition and excellent self-rated health were more likely to use CAM. An aversion to the side effects of conventional medicine, failure to engage in exercise, and a belief in the efficacy of CAM were the principal factors underlying use. Conclusion: As CAM use is a key component of the self-management strategies for a substantial proportion of Australians with OA, users need to be more fully informed about evidence of efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-242
Number of pages6
JournalComplementary Therapies in Clinical Practice
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • complementary and alternative medicine
  • osteoarthritis
  • attitudes


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