This edition of NAFKAMs national survey was carried out by Norstat at the turn of the month November/ December 2022. The data were analyzed by Agnete E. Kristoffersen at NAFKAM.
This report is under development, and expands without further notice.
The 2022-survey provides knowledge about Norwegians' use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and dietary supplements, as well as their perceived health status, based on 1,000 telephone interviews with residents aged 18 and over; consisting of 501 men and 499 women.
At the end of 2022, the total population in this age group was, according to Statistics Norway 4,316,747 people, consisting of 2,168,307 men (50,2%) and 2,148,440 women (49,8%). In our survey, the proportion of male respondents was thus slightly lower (50,1 %) than the actual proportion of men at the population level; and the proportion of female respondents correspondingly higher (49,9%).
Please note that the reported figures are not adjusted for possible cases of statistical outliers. More about the methodology used in NAFKAMs national survey can be read in the article Generelt om NAFKAMs befolkningsundersøkelse.
1. Total use of CAM in 2022
This year, a total of 38,3% of the 1,000 respondents reported having used one or more of the following forms for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM):
- CAM therapy from a provider (ie an acupuncturist, homeopath, reiki healer, etc), and/or
- herbs/ natural remedies (ie ginseng, garlic, ginger, etc), and/or
- self-help techniques (ie yoga, mindfulness, meditation, etc)
Use of CAM was more common among female respondents (46,7 % of the women) than among the male respondents (29,9 % of the men). The user group consisted of 61 % women and 39% men.
Average cost per CAM user was NOK 4,718. Male CAM users generally spent more money on CAM (NOK 6,968 per male user) than female users (NOK 3,682 per female user).
Transferred to population level, these figures correspond to 1,653 million Norwegians using CAM in 2022, at a total cost of NOK 7,799 billion.
A closer look at the data shows the following:
2. CAM therapy from providers in 2022
This year, 24,9 % of all respondents stated that they had received one or more CAM therapies from a provider, inside or outside the official health care system.
This was more common among female respondents (29,9 % of the women) than among the male respondents (20 % of the men). This user group consisted of 60% women and 40% men.
Average cost to CAM from a provider was NOK 4,817 per user. Female users spent more money on this form for CAM (NOK 6 324 per female user) than male users (NOK 2 599 per male user).
Transferred to population level, these figures correspond to 1,075 million Norwegians receiving CAM from providers in 2022, at a total cost of NOK 5,178 billion.
Table 2.1: Most commonly used CAM therapies in Norway, 2022
|Therapy||Proportion who used (from all respondents, N = 1,000)|
|Massage therapy 1)||17,4%|
|Psychotherapy (not from a psychologist/ psychiatrist)||2,8%|
|Other CAM therapy, not listed 3)||0,9%|
Notes, re table 2.1:
- The differences in usage of the 9 predefined therapies were small, except for massage therapy, which also in 2022 constituted a significantly higher proportion than the others. You can read more about this in our general article on NAFKAM's population survey, or in the report from the 2014 survey.
- Naprapathy and osteopathy were regulated as CAM in Norway until May 1, 2022. From then on, these therapies are considered public healthcare, delivered by authorized healthcare professionals. Respondents who stated having used these therapies, were not asked if this had happened before or after May 1, 2022. Thus, the total use of CAM and costs to it may be somewhat lower, due to these changes in regulation.
- The category "Other CAM therapy, not listed" is adjusted by NAFKAM: therapies not complying with the definition of CAM in §2 of the CAM Act have been removed.
3. Use of herbs/ natural remedies in 2022
This year, 13,8 % of all respondents stated that they had used herbs/ natural remedies (such as ginseng, garlic, ginger, etc) for health purposes.
Use of herbs/ natural remedies was more common among female respondents (17,6 % of all the women) than among male respondents (10 % of all the men). This user group consisted of 64% women and 36% men.
Average cost among users was NOK 3,386. Male users spent more money on this form for CAM (NOK 5,380 per male user) than female users (NOK 2,253 per female user).
Transferred to population level, these figures correspond to 596,000 Norwegians using herbs/ natural remedies in 2022, at a total cost of NOK 2,016 billion.
4. Use of self-help techniques in 2022
This year, 18,1 % of all respondents stated that they had used self-help techniques (such as yoga, mindfulness, meditation, etc) for health purposes.
Use of self-help techniques was more common among female respondents (26,3 % of all women) than among male respondents (10 % of all men). This user group consisted of 72% and 28% men.
Average cost among users was NOK 1,536. Female users spent more money on this form for CAM (NOK 1,921 per female user) than male users (NOK 527 per male user).
Transferred to population level, these figures correspond to 781,000 Norwegians using herbs/ natural remedies in 2022, at a total cost of NOK 1,199 billion.
5. Basic characteristics of users and non-users of CAM in 2022
The respondents were asked about their age in years; which part of the country they lived in; how they assessed their own state of health, and whether they were diagnosed with a long-term (chronic) illness.
The average age among all respondents was 48,6 years. The men in the survey were generally a little younger (47,9 years) and the women a little older (49,3 years) than this.
Use of CAM occurred most often in the age group 40-59 years, and CAM users were generally slightly younger than non-users: The average CAM user was 46,4 years; among male users the average age was 45,1 years and among female users it was 49,1 years.
CAM use occurred more often among women than men. In terms of age, use was lowest among those in the 60+ age group.
Geographically, the use of CAM was highest among respondents from northern Norway, and lowest among westerners.
In terms of health, users of CAM tended to rate this a little worse than the non-users. Use of CAM was prevalent among those with a chronic/long-term illness.
The table below shows this information broken down by all participants and by gender, as well as by users and non-users of CAM:
|Total||Those who used CAM||Those who didn't use CAM||Total||Those who used CAM||Those who didn't use CAM||Total||Those who used CAM||Those who didn't use CAM|
|All respondents||1 000||38,3%||61,7%||501||29,9%||70,1%||499||46,7%||53,3%|
|Average age||48,6 yrs||46,4 yrs||50,1 yrs||47,9 yrs||45,4 yrs||49,1 yrs||49,3 yrs||47,0 yrs||51,4 yrs|
|Prop 18-39 yrs||37,0%||39,6%||35,3%||37,9%||42,2%||35,9%||36,1%||37,8%||34,5%|
|Prop 40-59 yrs||33,9%||37,3%||31,6%||34,7%||33,5%||35,0%||33,1%||39,9%||26,8%|
|Prop 60+ yrs||29,1%||23,1%||33,1%||27,3%||24,2%||29,0%||30,9%||22,3%||38,7%|
|Southern Norway incl Telemark||9,8%||9,8%||9,8%||9,6%||9,3%||9,7%||10,0%||10,1%||10,0%|
|Neither good nor bad||16,6%||18,3%||16,0%||15,0%||14,5%||15,0%||18,2%||20,9%||15,8%|
|Have a chronic (long-term) illness or disease||34,6%||41,4%||30,0%||32,1%||37,3%||30,0%||37,1%||44,1%||31,0%|
6. Use of dietary supplements in 2022
NAFKAM does not consider ordinary use (in line with the declaration) of dietary supplements (e.g vitamins, minerals, trace elements etc) to strengthen one's health as CAM, but measures the populations' use of such on behalf of the Norwegian health authorities.
This year, 73,8% of all respondents stated that they had used dietary supplements.
Use of supplements was more common among female respondents (77,8% of all the women) than among male respondents (69,9% of all the men) in the survey. This user group consisted of 53% women and 47% men.
Average cost among users of supplements were NOK 1,095. Female users spent more money on it (NOK 1,253) than male users (NOK 924 per user).
Transferred to population level, these figures correspond to 3,185 Norwegians using dietary supplements in 2022, at a total cost of NOK 3,487 billion.
This report will be expanded continuously, as results are finalized.