• Recourse to Complementary/Alternative Medicine (CAM) at Times of Economic Crisis: The Case of Italy

    Mara Tognetti
    Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy
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    Abstract

    JSS2015012714222187The economic crisis that has invested western countries in the last years has determined a significant reduction in consumption of medication and treatments recourse, too. The Economic recession is generally accompanied by a decrease in health-related consumption, varying according to the welfare model, and especially affecting people of working age with a low income. The present paper focuses on the effects of the economic crisis on users of Complementary/Alternative Medicine treatments (from now on referred as CAM). Based on multi-purpose data analyses, this work aims to examine what kind of strategies such consumers have adopted in order not to neglect their health despite feeling the economic pinch. Our analyses are principally based on ISTAT, Italian National Institute for Recording Statistics findings. Specifically, our research is based on the survey “Health conditions and recourse to health services”. The analysed data refer to the Italian context in the period comprised from 2000 to 2013. The results of this work reveal how, in this delicate phase of the economy, traditional consumers of CAM have signally reduced their use of such treatments. In Italy, in the observed period, factors as working status, age, smoking and chronic diseases have been determinant in the decision to use CAM. The article suggests that, where health is at stake, CAM users are more strategic than the average biomedicine users. Furthermore, confirming the past trend, it shows how difficult it is to afford forms of treatment not covered by the health system as well as it underlines the lack of data for comparison with other countries.

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  • Poverty and private health expenditures in Italian households during the recent crisis


    Highlights

    During the recent crisis private health expenditures of Italian households have decreased

    This study analyses the relation between poverty and health expenditure

    Results show that poor families have significantly cut down on health spending

    Findings are an alarming signal concerning the deterioration of poor families’ health


    Abstract

    The global financial crisis that began in 2008 had an overall effect on the health behaviours of Italian households. Aggregate private health expenditures have decreased while the citizens have increasingly been asked to share health costs. The reduction of households’ health expenditure could have serious consequences for health, especially if it concerns the most vulnerable people. The aim of this paper is to analyse the relation between poverty and household health expenditure, considering regional and social group variations. The data used stem from the “Family Expenditure Survey” collected by the Italian Statistical Institute (ISTAT) from 1997 to 2013.

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  • Strategia dell¹OMS per la Medicina Tradizionale 2014-2023

    strategia dell oms

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