In a recent study (Büssing A), intended to analyse the usage of specific CAM practices among a population of older German adults with health insurance coverage, it became clear that CAM is predominantly used for chronic diseases. However, healthy individuals also used it, probably to maintain or protect health. Most often it is applied by medical doctors (because of the study design). Therefore, the application by Nonmedical Practitioners (NMPs) is much lower in the analysed population, which was paid in most cases by the patients themselves.
Older individuals, particularly cancer patients, pray in search of additional resources of external help. In contrast, younger German patients suffering from chronic pain conditions, spirituality or religiosity can be resource to assist in coping (Büssing A).
Figure 7: Alternative Treatment Methods of Older Individuals with health insurance coverage (Büssing A)
Figure 7 shows the alternative treatment usage among 5830 older individuals with health insurance coverage. Homeopathy and TCM were both used by 21% of the patients. (Büssing A).
According to the KBV[i] in 2000 about 10% of all physicians had some addition education in CAM – mainly in Naturopathy, Chiropractic, physical therapy and homeopathy, see Figure 8 (Marstedt Gerd p. 7)
Figure 8: Integration of Unorthodox Medicine into Mainstream Medicine, Table 2 of (Marstedt Gerd)
[i] Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung (KBV), Table 2 in (Marstedt Gerd 7)