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SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ATTITUDES ON USE OF HEALTH INFORMATION, PREVENTIVE BEHAVIORS, AND COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICAL THERAPIES: USING A U.S. NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLE

Keywords: complementary and alternative medicine , health information seeking , preventive behavior , nutrition

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Abstract:

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is used commonly in the United States. In this exploratory research, we investigated the associations of CAM use with socio-demographics, health information use, health behavior, and attitudinal variables. Data was analyzed using the U.S. 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey (n=4,760).We compared the characteristics of CAM users and non-users for these variables using a Chi-squared test for independence. A Logistic Regression analysis was used to examine the possible correlates of CAM uses, including socio-demographics, health information use, health knowledge, nutrition intakes, and skin protection behaviors, as well as the attitudes of anxiety and depression. Research showed that CAM users were generally knowledgeable on the subject of genetic testing, preferring to take control of their health by tracking health data. They also believedthat healthy behaviors or interventions could positively change their health status. According to the study, CAM users were most likely to be female, elderly, have a higher level of education, live in a metro area, visit health professionals frequently although they perceive themselves to have a low health status, exercise frequently, and are not overweight.

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