Studies have shown that consumers are using alternative health more often. It is often perceived that this is due to dissatisfaction with mainstream health avenues. This is not always the case. Data has shown that patients often access alternative health out of a belief that the treatment better aligns with their personal values, beliefs, philosophical attitudes towards health.
People often use alternative health alongside mainstream medical practices. Those who use alternative health alongside mainstream medical services are often managing chronic conditions.
Alternative health can assist with symptom management, and afford consumers a sense of regained control over their health. Often, doctors are unaware that consumers are using alternative health.
This use of both alternative and mainstream health shows a desire from consumers to have these health services work together for their benefit. People are willing to access both mainstream and alternative health, to achieve the best health and wellness outcomes.
Practitioners need to take this into consideration when evaluating alternative or mainstream health. It’s important to be aware of other services that a patient may be accessing, and how these can interact and complement one another.
It can be useful to initiate conversations with patients regarding their use of alternative and mainstream health. This enables practitioners to get a better picture of the overall health management strategies in place and offer greater support to the consumer.
The Australian Government has put together a guide to assist clinicians in having these conversations with patients. By initiating these conversations, practitioners are able to better equip consumers for making decisions around alternative health treatments.
Want to read more on this topic?
Check out some of the studies we mentioned in today’s blog post.