JOURNAL ARTICLE

Complementary and alternative medicine use among Asian-American subgroups: prevalence, predictors, and lack of relationship to acculturation and access to conventional health care

An-Fu Hsiao, Mitchell D Wong, Michael S Goldstein, Lida S Becerra, Eric M Cheng, Neil S Wenger
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: Research on Paradigm, Practice, and Policy 2006, 12 (10): 1003-10
17212572

OBJECTIVES: Acculturation and access to conventional health care have been found to be predictors of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in the general population. We hypothesized that these factors would be predictors of CAM use in Asian-American subgroups. Because of differences in health and cultural beliefs, we also hypothesized that patterns and predictors of CAM use would vary among Asian-American subgroups.

METHODS: Cross-sectional survey of a sample of 9187 adults representative of the California population.

RESULTS: Nearly three quarters of Asian-Americans used at least one type of CAM in the past 12 months, which was significantly higher than the national prevalence rate. Chinese Americans had the highest prevalence of any CAM use, whereas South Asians had the lowest prevalence (86% vs. 67%, respectively). Acculturation and access to conventional medical care was unrelated to any CAM use for most Asian-American subgroups. Spirituality was the strongest predictor of any CAM use for most Asian-American subgroups.

CONCLUSIONS: CAM use varies across Asian-American subgroups. Acculturation and access to conventional medical care is unrelated to any CAM use for most Asian-American subgroups.

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