Purpose of Study:
The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine
(CAM), folk medicine
, and other nontraditional therapy use by the elderly
Primary Practice Setting:
For all case managers who coordinate health care for the elderly
as they transition from one setting to another and participate in health promotion and prevention activities.
Methodology and Sample:
A computerized database search of MEDLINE, CINAHL, ProQuest, and PsycINFO was completed before writing the integrative review
. Six hundred ninety-seven abstracts were identified. Forty-five articles were further screened. Twenty-five articles met the criteria for inclusion.
The integrative review
is composed of 25 articles. Support for folk medicine
and CAM use by older adults is located at Levels 5 and 6 of Melynk and Fine-Overholt's Hierarchy of Evidence.
Implications for Case Management Practice: Folk medicine
and CAM are used by the elderly
for self-care purposes. A combination of both nontraditional and traditional medical interventions is used by the elderly
. Although the choice to use folk medicine
and CAM seems to transcend culture, the specific therapies chosen often emerge from the individual's cultural or ethnic heritage. Traditional health care providers may be unaware of elders' use of CAM or folk medicine
alternatives. Case managers as coordinators of care across the health continuum are in a unique position to encourage, support, and enhance the use of folk medicine
and CAM that complements traditional medical interventions for the elderly