Details of Publication 462 for Project W060:

Sibbritt D, Adams J & Lui C. Health service utilisation by pregnant women over a seven-year period. Midwifery, 2011; 27(4): 474-476

Objective: to examine the use of complementary and alternative medicine during pregnancy using data from a longitudinal cohort study.Design and setting: the research was conducted as part of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health which was designed to investigate multiple factors affecting the health and well-being of women over a 20-year period.Participants: the younger cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health who had completed four surveys in 1996, 2000, 2003 and 2006.Findings: the data reveal an increase both in consumption of complementary and alternative medicine and in consultations with general practitioners/specialists during pregnancy. Women utilised complementary and alternative medicine as a supplement for conventional maternity care.Implications: given the potential risks of some complementary and alternative medicine for pregnant women and their unborn child, it is essential that maternity care providers are adequately informed about these treatments and that further research investigates the details of such concurrent use.

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