NAFKAM survey 2016

Every two years NAFKAM examines Norwegians' use of alternative treatment. These are the figures for 2016 (November 2015 to November 2016).

Main results

36% of the surveyed respondents used alternative treatment more or more times during 2016. This distribution is in these categories of alternative treatment:

Total use

Which therapies were used most?

The most commonly used therapies according to the study were massage (11.9%), acupuncture (3.6%), naprapathy (2.6%) and reflexology (1.7%). Osteopathy and cupping and were in a shared fifth place with 1.2% each. The proportion who responded that they had used "Other" alternative treatments was 1.8%.

Note: In the questionnaire, we had compiled a predefined list of alternative therapies that are known to have had many users in previous studies.

Use by gender in 2016

Women stated to have used alternative treatments to a greater extent than men:

  • Women: 46%
  • Men: 28%

How much money did Norwegians spend on alternative treatment in 2016?

In total, Norwegians spent more than NOK 4 billion on alternative treatments in 2016. We have categorized the use into "going to a provider", "use of herbs/ natural remedies" and "use of self-help techniques":

In addition, almost 70 per cent stated to have used supplements, for an average of NOK 931 each. However, "regular" use of supplements (in line with the package leaflet) is not considered alternative treatment.

Changes compared to previous surveys

The overall use of alternative treatment has declined in the Norwegian population. In 2012, 45% reported using alternative therapies; in 2014 this was 40% and in 2016 36% responded the same. Nevertheless, we spend more money on private health treatments in 2016 than in 2014. In particular, every person who goes to an alternative therapist spends more money on such services.

The NAFKAM survey 2016 was conducted by Ipsos MMI. 1001 persons aged 15 years or older were interviewed by telephone in November 2016. Analysis of the figures and preparation of report was conducted by Vinjar Fønnebø at NAFKAM.


Norway's National Research Center in Complementary and Alternative Medicine

We work to give you facts about complementary and alternative medicine, so that you can make safer choices for your health.

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