Objectives: Complementary and integrative healthcare (CIH) is commonly used to treat low back pain (LBP). While the use of CIH within hospitals is increasing, little is known regarding the delivery of these services within inpatient settings. We examine the patterns of CIH services among inpatients with mechanical LBP in a hospital setting. Methods: This is a retrospective, practice-based study conducted at Abbot Northwestern hospital in Minnesota. Using electronic health record data from July 2009 to December 2012, 8095 inpatients with mechanical LBP were identified using ICD-9 codes. We classified patients by reason for hospitalization. We examined demographic and clinical characteristics by receipt of CIH services. Then, we estimated the prevalence of types of CIH delivered and clinical foci for CIH visits among inpatients with mechanical LBP. Results: Most inpatients with mechanical LBP (>90%) were hospitalized for surgical procedures. Overall, 14.2% received inpatient CIH services. All demographic and clinical characteristics differed by receipt of CIH (P < 0.001), except race/ethnicity. CIH recipients were in poorer health than those who did not. Most commonly delivered CIH services were massage (62.1%), relaxation techniques (42.0%) and acupuncture (25.7%). Pain (45.1%), relaxation (17.5%), and comfort (8.2%) were the top three reasons for CIH visits. Conclusion: There are important differences between CIH recipients and non-CIH recipients among patients with mechanical LBP within a hospital setting. The reasons documented for CIH visits included addressing physical, emotional and/or mental conditions of patients. Future studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of CIH services health and wellbeing outcomes in this population.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was largely funded (Dusek, Ghildayal, Johnson) by a grant from the National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health, National Institutes of Health (R01AT006518 to Dusek). Additional effort was covered by the Integrative Health & Wellbeing Research Program of the Center for Spirituality & Healing, University of Minnesota (Rhee, Evans, Johnson). In addition, Leininger was supported by a post-doctoral fellowship training grant through the National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health, National Institutes of Health (F32AT007507).
- Complementary and integrative healthcare
- Mechanical low back problems