HealthDay News — Many older adults report using at least one integrative medicine strategy, according to the results of the latest University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging.

Researchers from the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation in Ann Arbor surveyed 2277 adults aged 50 to 80 years regarding their interest in and experiences with integrative medicine strategies.

According to the survey, 66% of respondents reported using at least one integrative medicine strategy to prevent or treat a health concern; 21% had an interest in trying them; and 13% had not used and had no interest in trying any integrative medicine strategies. Massage therapy, chiropractic care, meditation and mindfulness, yoga, and acupuncture were the most common strategies used (41, 41, 27, 24, and 16%, respectively). Compared with men, women were more likely to currently use integrative medicine strategies (44 vs 31%), as were those aged 50 to 64 years vs 65 to 80 years (41 vs 35%). Ninety-one percent of older adults who used one or more integrative strategies found them beneficial (38% “very” and 53% “somewhat”). Overall, 18% of older adults had talked to a health care provider about integrative medicine strategies. Twenty-six, 29, and 31% of adults said their health care provider asks about lifestyle factors at all, most, and some medical visits, respectively, while 14% said their health care provider never asks. Those whose primary care provider talked about lifestyle factors at all or most visits were more likely to use integrative strategies (42 vs 33%).

“Facilitating conversations about integrative strategies in primary care and removing barriers to these strategies when they are most likely to yield benefits may expand options for improving older adults’ health and well-being,” the authors write.

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