Differences between Male and Female Consumers of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in a National US Population: A Secondary Analysis of 2012 NIHS Data.
Zhang Y., Leach MJ., Hall H., Sundberg T., Ward L., Sibbritt D., Adams J.
We examined the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) 2012 to explore how US adult consumers of CAM differ by gender in terms of their sociodemographic characteristics, current health conditions, and perceived benefits of CAM. All individuals who completed the adults core interviews (N = 34,525) were included. CAM use, major sociodemographic variables, perceived benefits of using CAM, and top ten reported health conditions for which CAM was used were selected and analyzed by Stata. Findings revealed that 29.6% (n = 10,181) reported having used at least one form of CAM in the previous 12 months. Compared to male CAM users, female CAM users were more likely to have a bachelor degree, to be divorced/separated or widowed, and less likely to earn $75,000 or more. Back pain/problem was the most common problem reported by both male and female CAM users (32.2% and 22.6%, resp.). A higher proportion of female CAM users reported using CAM for perceived benefits such as general wellness or general disease prevention. This paper provides foundation information regarding gender differences in CAM use and is a platform for further in-depth examination into how and why males and females differ in their reasons for CAM use.