Study Examines Relationship of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use to Falls Among Older Adults

January 24, 2017 | Press Releases & Announcements


Dr. William T. Gallo

A new study has been released examining the relationship between complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use and falls among older adults in New York City. CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy professor, Dr. William T. Gallo, along with a graduate student and colleagues, published their findings in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

This study utilized cross-sectional data from the New York City Health Indicators Project survey. Particpants were recruited from 56 senior centers located throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

The findings showed that participants who had tried a form of CAM therapy known as manipulative and body-based therapies, were more likely to report falling in the past 12 months. The observed association within this study may reflect a study population of older adults afflicted with chronic pain who are already at risk for falling and are seeking therapy for this pain.

The prevalence of CAM therapy use among the study population was 92%. The individuals who seek these therapies tend to be at high risk for falls and because of the growing popularity of CAM therapy use in this population, the researchers concluded that fall prevention strategies should include practitioners who provide manipulative and body-based therapies, such as chiropractors, osteopaths, physical and massage therapists.


Caron A, Gallo WT, Durbin LL, Mielenz TJ. Relationship between falls and complementary and alternative medicine use among community-dwelling older adults. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2017;23(1):41–44. doi:10.1089/acm.2016.0095.