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Medical Pluralism and Traditional/Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Older People: a Cross-Sectional Study in a Rural Mountainous Village in Japan



Medical Pluralism and Traditional/Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Older People: a Cross-Sectional Study in a Rural Mountainous Village in Japan



Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 31(1): 57-72



Given current concerns about the rapidly aging population in Japan, we investigated medical pluralism and health-seeking behaviors among individuals aged 50 years or older living in a rural mountain village in Japan. In total, 76 participants were interviewed about the methods they used to treat 11 common medical conditions. We found that all the respondents used at least two types of treatment for their medical conditions and nearly 90% used four or five types of treatment. The factors affecting health-seeking behaviors were age, education, car use, and the characteristics of the medical condition. Our results show that the older individuals in this community used both formal and traditional/complementary and alternative medicine (TM/CAM) treatments and did not view issues related to medical care as involving a dualistic choice between formal healthcare services and TM/CAM; however, the relationship between different types of TM/CAM and conventional healthcare varied.

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Accession: 058286495

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PMID: 26684453

DOI: 10.1007/s10823-015-9277-6


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