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Table 4 Considerations, decision, and information about CAM use

From: Use of complementary and alternative medicine by older adults – a cross-sectional survey

  Total Self-reliant Home care service users Nursing home residents
    Total Without legal guardian With legal guardian Total Without legal guardian With legal guardian
  % (n) % (n) % (n) % (n) % (n) % (n) % (n) % (n)
Participants’ assessment of side effects of CAM preparations
  Cannot assess 57.9 (187) 54.2 (71) 48.2 (40) 48.2 (40) n/a 69.7 (76) 69.7 (76) n/a
  No harm 23.5 (76) 15.3 (20) 36.1 (30) 36.1 (30) n/a 23.9 (26) 23.9 (26) n/a
  Mild side effects 13.6 (44) 24.4 (32) 10.8 (9) 10.8 (9) n/a 2.8 (3) 2.8 (3) n/a
  Harmful in combination with other drugs 5.0 (16) 6.1 (8) 4.8 (4) 4.8 (4) n/a 3.7 (4) 3.7 (4) n/a
General treatment preference
  CAM and conventional medicine 64.9 (209) 73.9 (96) 59.3 (51) 59.3 (51) n/a 58.5 (62) 58.5 (62) n/a
  Only conventional medicine 18.9 (61) 19.2 (25) 15.1 (13) 15.1 (13) n/a 21.7 (23) 21.7 (23) n/a
  Only CAM 16.2 (52) 6.9 (9) 25.6 (22) 25.6 (22) n/a 19.8 (21) 19.8 (21) n/a
CAM preparation use is based on
  Recommendation - total 31.3 (125) 30.5 (47) 43.3 (42) 46.2 (42) 0 (0) 24.2 (36) 32.7 (36) 0 (0)
  - by pharmacist 10.4 (36) 9.3 (14) n/a 12.4 (36) n/a n/a 10.4 (11) n/a
  - by friends and family 20.0 (69) 14.7 (22) n/a 25.8 (23) n/a n/a 22.6 (24) n/a
  Own initiative 27.3 (109) 26.6 (41) 44.3 (43) 45.1 (41) 33.3 (2) 16.8 (25) 22.7 (25) 0 (0)
  Prescription 25.8 (103) 20.1 (31) 25.8 (25) 27.5 (25) 0 (0) 47 (31.5) 19.1 (21) 66.7 (26)
GP information about CAM preparation use
  Participant informed GPa 58.7 (138) 62.3 (48) 49.3 (34) 48.5 (33) 50.0 (1) 62.9 (56) 45.9 (28) 100.0 (28)
  GP inquired about use 16.6 (53) 21.1 (27) 19.5 (16) 19.5 (16) n/ab 9.2 (10) 9.2 (10) n/ab
  1. Percent of valid answers of respondents, aPercent of 245 users. bPrescription mandatory for all medicines including CAM. For definition of ‘CAM’ in this study see text.