Journal of Community Health

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 57–69 | Cite as

Psychosocial Factors Associated With Use Of Multivitamins By Women Of Childbearing Age

  • Indu B. AhluwaliaEmail author
  • Jean M. Lawrence
  • Lina Balluz


To determine the association between psychosocial factors and use of multivitamins among women (18–40 years; N = 3,438) who were enrolled in Kaiser Permanente Health Plan in southern California. A telephone survey elicited information about multivitamins and psychosocial and demographic characteristics. The outcome variables were any and regular use ( ≥ 4 times per week) of multivitamins. Four psychosocial factors were: perceived need to take multivitamins and perceived benefits, barriers, and locus of control. Data were analyzed using exploratory factor analysis and multivariate analyses that adjusted for age, race or ethnicity, marital status, education, and discussion of multivitamin use with a health care provider. Fifty one percent of women reported using multivitamins; of this group, 79% were regular users. After adjusting for several covariates, factors positively associated with any use of multivitamins were perceived need (odds ratio [OR] = 1.22; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.15–1.29), perceived benefit (OR = 1.15; CI 1.08–1.22); and perceived barriers had a negative association with any use (OR = 0.64; CI 0.59-0.68). When regular users were compared to irregular users in a multivariate analysis, regular use was positively associated with perceived benefits (OR = 1.13; 95% CI: 1.02-1.25) and negatively associated with barriers (OR = 0.47; 95% CI: 0.41-0.53). Women who were not advised by their providers about multivitamins were less likely to use them (OR = 0.43; 95% CI: 0.36-0.52) or to be regular users (OR = 0.68; 95% CI: 0.50-0.91). Results suggest that certain psychosocial factors as well as advice from a health care provider help women to make decisions about multivitamin use.


multivitamin use women provider psychosocial 



This study was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and administered through a task order to the American Association of Health Plans (Contract 200-95-0957, Task Order 0957-015). The authors thank Diana B. Petitti, MD, MPH (Kaiser Permanente Southern California); Margaret L. Watkins, BSN, MPH (CDC); J. David Erickson, DDS, PhD (CDC); and Anderson, Niebuhr & Associates, Inc. for their work on the original study and the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan members who completed the telephone surveys.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Indu B. Ahluwalia
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jean M. Lawrence
    • 2
  • Lina Balluz
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Adult and Community HealthNational Centers for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Research Scientist II / EpidemiologistKaiser Permanente Southern CaliforniaPasadenaUSA

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