The Perception and Utilization of Herbals and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAMs) Among Older Adults with Arthritis

Research has shown that a growing number of older adults with chronic illness are turning to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to manage their pain and chronic illness. But little is known about why people choose these approaches, or how use of complementary and alternative medicine is associated with changes in health status over time. Kristine Votova will address these questions by using powerful and cutting edge statistical tools to analyze data from the Longitudinal Panel of the National Population Health Survey. Her research also involves recruiting older adults to participate in focus groups, aimed at illuminating the perceived effectiveness of CAMs. Votova anticipates that this research – combining quantitative and qualitative techniques – will contribute to a better understanding of the use of complementary and alternative medicine and herbals, particularly by older adults.