Determinants of use of care provided by complementary and alternative health care practitioners to pregnant women in primary midwifery care: A prospective cohort study Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Pregnant women visit complementary/alternative health care practitioners in addition to regular maternal health care practitioners. A wide variation has been reported with regard to rates and determinants of use of complementary/alternative medicine (CAM), which may be due to heterogeneous populations. The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence and determinants of use of CAM practitioners by a homogeneous population of low-risk pregnant women in the Netherlands. METHODS: Data from the population-based DELIVER study was used, concerning 1500 clients from twenty midwifery practices across the Netherlands in 2009 and 2010. CAM use was measured based on patient reports. Potential determinants were derived from Andersen's behavioural model of health care utilization. RESULTS: The prevalence of CAM practitioner use by low-risk pregnant women was 9.4 %. Women were more likely to use CAM if they had supplementary health care insurance (OR 3.11; CI 1.41-6.85), rated their health as 'bad/fair' (OR 2.63; CI 1.65-4.21), reported a chronic illness or handicap (OR 1.93; CI 1.14-3.27), smoked during pregnancy (OR 1.88; CI 1.06-3.33), or used alcohol during pregnancy (OR 2.30; CI 1.46-3.63). CONCLUSIONS: CAM is relatively frequently used by low-risk pregnant women. Determinants revealed in this study diverge from other studies using heterogeneous populations. Maternal health care practitioners must be aware of CAM use by low-risk pregnant women and incorporate this knowledge into daily practice by actively discussing this subject with pregnant women.


  • Feijen-de Jong, EI
  • Jansen, DEMC
  • Baarveld, F
  • Spelten, E
  • Schellevis, F
  • Reijneveld, SA

publication date

  • 2015