A large new study focuses on the use of complementary and alternative medicine in Europe. This type of medicine is used in a variety of health problems, especially in situations where conventional medical treatment is considered insufficient.
Headaches, back pain and other unpleasant health problems force people to look for alternative forms of treatment. Research has shown that women and more educated people are more likely to use complementary and alternative medicine.
Data for the study were collected from more than 20 countries, was attended by about 40,000 respondents, the work carried out in collaboration between the University of Helsinki, Tampere and Turku. Four types of treatment studied: traditional Asian therapies (Chinese medicine, acupuncture, acupressure), alternative medicine (homeopathy, herbal medicines), manual therapy (massage, palmistry, osteopathy, reflexology) and therapy "mind-body" (hypnosis and spiritual healing).
According to the study, every fourth participant in the study used complementary and alternative method of treatment in the past year. The most common forms of treatment were massage (12 percent), homeopathy (6 percent), osteopathy (5 percent) and herbal folk remedies (5 percent). Most of the subjects tried only one type of treatment.
"We found that alternative medicine has been used as a complement to conventional medicine. This should be considered in practical patient care, and in public discussions, where these treatments are often formulated as an alternative to traditional medicine ", - said Kemppainen Tay, a researcher at the University of Helsinki.
The prevalence of treatment differed significantly between countries. In Germany, nearly 40 percent of the study population used complementary and alternative forms of treatment, while in Hungary the corresponding proportion was only 10 percent. In Finland and Estonia, such forms of treatment used 35% of respondents. "This is partly due to the fact that in some countries, these treatments are covered by insurance. In some countries general practitioners are taught methods of complementary medicine ", - said Kemppainen.
In a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, focused on the use of complementary and alternative medicine in Europe. The study is based on data from the European Social Survey collected in 2014.