Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 203–208

Association between Physical Functional Limitations and Visiting a Complementary and Alternative Medicine Provider

Original Research

DOI: 10.2165/01197065-200401030-00008

Cite this article as:
Zick, S.M. Evid-Based-Integrative-Med (2004) 1: 203. doi:10.2165/01197065-200401030-00008


Purpose: To determine whether physical functional limitations (PFLs) are associated with consulting a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) provider, and whether among CAM users, PFLs determine the type of CAM practitioner chosen.

Method: Weighted multiple logistic and multinomial regression analysis was performed on data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

Results: Unadjusted analysis showed that individuals with PFLs are twice as likely to visit a CAM provider as people without PFLs. After adjusted analysis, a significant interaction between level of PFLs and race appears. African Americans do not go to CAM practitioners until their PFLs are severe, when they are over three times more likely to visit a CAM practitioner. Whites and Hispanics with PFLs are twice as likely to visit a CAM provider as Whites without PFLs. Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans with PFLs are six times more likely to see a CAM provider than Whites without PFLs.

Conclusions: Why people consult CAM providers is still uncertain. This study suggests PFLs are another reason why individuals consult a CAM provider. Also, an individual’s race or ethnicity in association with PFLs is important for why people visit CAM providers.

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Michigan Integrative MedicineUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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