Participants were asked whether each of eight statements was a reason for their CAM use in the past year (yes/no).
Previous studies of CAM use Each reason was assessed by race/ethnicity, with those who responded “don't know” treated as missing and excluded from analysis.
Epidemiological studies on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) have included research on use prevalence, demographics of users, and reasons for use.
Nearly two thirds of adults in the United States have used CAM in their lifetimes; Reasons included in the study were, however, limited primarily to some facet of conventional care, such as cost or recommendation from a medical professional.
The current study examines reasons for CAM use among women in four racial/ethnic groups.
A national telephone survey of 3172 women aged 18 years and older was conducted in four languages.
Nearly one third of non-Hispanic white, African-American, and Mexican-American women reported a recommendation from their doctor as a reason for using CAM.
Reading or hearing something on the media was cited most frequently by African-American women (42%) and least by Chinese-American women (18%).
Non-Hispanic white and Chinese-American women CAM users had the highest levels of education and household income.
Mexican-American women CAM users were the least likely to be employed or have health insurance.
Three sampling strategies were used: random digit dialing (RDD), from which the non-Hispanic white sample is derived, RDD within geo-targeted areas for the African- and Mexican-American samples, and random selection from a surname database for the Chinese-American sample.