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Medical Care Supplement Highlights Complementary and Integrative Medicine Use among Veterans and the Military

November 21, 2014

In an editorial written by HSR&D investigators Stephanie Taylor and Rani Elwy, the authors provide an overview of the Medical Care Supplement: "Building the Evidence Base for Complementary and Integrative Medicine Use among Veterans and Military Personnel," which was supported by VA's Office of Patient Centered Care and Cultural Transformation and the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. In 2011, almost all (89%) VA medical facilities offered at least 1 of 31 types of complementary and alternative medicine, or CAM, (e.g., acupuncture, massage, biofeedback, meditation, guided imagery), while 29% of military treatment facilities offered 275 CAM programs in 2012. In addition to 13 articles in this Supplement, there are two commentaries that describe efforts within VA and the Department of Defense (DoD) to understand and foster the use of CAM among Veterans and active duty military personnel. A recurring theme in the second commentary and many of the articles is the extent to which Veterans and active military seek CAM and pay out-of-pocket for some of it due to current VA and military healthcare policies. The articles in this supplement, several written by HSR&D investigators, provide much needed information regarding the promise of CAM to improve the health of Veterans and active military personnel.

CITATION: Medical Care Supplement. December 2014;52(12).

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