Complementary and Alternative Medicine and Therapy Use in a Diverse New Mexican Population. Academic Article uri icon


  • To describe differences, attitudes, and experiences in use of complementary and alternative medicines and therapy (CAMT) in people living in New Mexico (NM).Cross-sectional survey study.Clinics staffed by the University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy faculty between September 2009 and August 2011 in Albuquerque, NM.Patients 18 years of age or older or parents of patients younger than age 18 years.Descriptive statistics for survey results and mean scores for attitudinal items. Chi-square, t-test, and analysis of variance were used to compare differences between groups across demographic variables.A convenience sample yielded 263 completed surveys. Of the respondents, 62% were male, 39% were single, and 50% were Hispanic. Nearly 56% of respondents used CAMT in the previous 6 months; 38% used CAMT in addition to and 11% used CAMT instead of prescription medications. Average number of CAMT used per respondent was 2.3 ± 1.6. A majority of respondents indicated that their CAMT use in the previous 6 months was useful, a good idea, easy to use, and likely to continue. CAMT use was significantly higher in female respondents (p = 0.03), those with a higher education level (p < 0.01), and those with a higher household income level (p = 0.03).Prevalence of CAMT is high in a diverse population of patients. Older respondents were more likely to use CAMT in addition to prescription medications, and younger respondents were more likely to use CAMT instead of prescription medications. Providers need to consider CAMT use when discussing treatment options with patients.

publication date

  • November 2015