Publication Abstract

Authors: Goldstein MS, Brown ER, Ballard-Barbash R, Morgenstern H, Bastani R, Lee J, Gatto N, Ambs A

Title: The use of complementary and alternative medicine among california adults with and without cancer.

Journal: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2(4):557-65

Date: 2005 Dec

Abstract: This article examines the extent and correlates of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among a population-based sample of California adults that is highly diverse in terms of sociodemographic characteristics and health status. As a follow-up to a state-wide health survey of 55,428 people, 9187 respondents were interviewed by phone regarding their use of 11 different types of CAM providers, special diets, dietary supplements, mind-body interventions, self-prayer and support groups. The sample included all participants in the initial survey who reported a diagnosis of cancer, all the non-white respondents, as well as a random sample of all the white respondents. The relation of CAM use to the respondents' demographic characteristics and health status is assessed. CAM use among Californians is generally high, and the demographic factors associated with high rates of CAM use are the same in California as have been found in other studies. Those reporting a diagnosis of cancer and those who report other chronic health problems indicate a similar level of visits to CAM providers. However, those with cancer are less likely to report using special diets, and more likely to report using support groups and prayer. Health status, gender, ethnicity and education have an independent impact upon CAM use among those who are healthy as well as those who report suffering from chronic health problems, although the precise relation varies by the type of CAM used.