The increased use of the contraceptive injectable Depo-Provera (depot medroxyprogesterone acetate or DMPA) poses a financial problem for health maintenance organizations. Providers are educating themselves about the use of complementary and alternative medicines to deal with this problem. The contraceptive survey conducted helps identify suitable alternative therapies. The survey shows that a number of health facilities are incorporating alternative therapies into their practice; these include herbal medicine and massage therapy. A 1997 national telephone survey of randomly selected households revealed that use of at least one of 16 alternative therapies increased to 42.1% from 33.8% in 1990. Among the 16 therapies are herbal medicine, massage, megavitamins, self-help groups, folk remedies, energy healing, and homeopathy. Health providers are trying to keep an open mind about these alternative therapies as they confront the problem of an escalating budget for DMPA.
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