Influences on Consumer Adoption of Herbal Therapies

Abstract

Objectives

This study used Rogers’ model of adoption of innovation to investigate consumers’ adoption of herbal therapies.

Methods

Data were collected from up to 100 surveys at each of eight family practice clinics and a mail survey of a random sample of 500 Iowa residents. Independent variables measured consumer characteristics, social systems, communication channels, and herbal characteristics. The number of herbal products reported being used was the measure of adoption. For those respondents reporting herbal use, multiple regression assessed the associations between adoption and the modeled influences on adoption.

Results

Of the 794 respondents, 276 (34.8%) reported using herbal products. The regression was performed using the 236 cases with complete data. The overall regression model was significant (R-square = 0.406). Significant positive influences included getting information about herbs from an herb professional and from the news, and obtaining herbal products from health food stores and from mail order sources. A belief that herbs improve health was a significant influence as well.

Conclusions

The absence of health care practitioners from many consumers’ decisions to use herbals draws attention to the importance of understanding the variety of influences on consumers’ adoption of herbal products.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. 1.

    Eisenberg DM, Davis RB, Ettner SL, et al. Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States, 1990-1997: Results of a follow-up national survey. JAMA. 1998 Nov 11;280(18):1569–1575.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Eisenberg DM, Kessler RC, Foster C, Norlock FE, Calkins DR, Delbanco TL. Unconventional medicine in the United States. Prevalence, costs, and patterns of use. New Engl J Med. 1993 Jan 28:328(4):246–252.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Klepser TB, Klepser ME. Unsafe and potentially safe herbal therapies. Am J Health-System Pharmacy. 1999 Jan 15;56(2):125–38; quiz 139-141.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Klepser, TB, Doucette WR, Horton MR, et al. Assessment of patients’ perceptions and beliefs regarding herbal therapies. Pharmacotherapy. 2000;20(1):83–87.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Rogers EM. Diffusion of Innovations. 4th Edition. New York, NY: Free Press; 1995.

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Dunn L, Perry B. Where your patients are. Complement Alternative Therapies Primary Care. 1997 December;24(4):715–721.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Lazar J, O’Connor B. Talking with patients about their use of alternative therapies. Complement Alternative Therapies Primary Care. 1997 December; 24(4):699–710.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Bennett J, Brown CM. Use of herbal remedies by patients in a health maintenance organization. J Am Pharmaceut Assoc. 2000;40 (May/June):353–358.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Bouldin AS, Smith MC, Banahan BF, et al. Herbal supplement information and the consumer. Drug Inf J. 2000;34:1339–1353.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Maiman LA, Becker MH. The health belief model: origins and correlates in psychological theory. Health Educ Monogr. 1974;2:336–353.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to William R. Doucette PhD, RPh.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ritho, M., Klepser, T.B. & Doucette, W.R. Influences on Consumer Adoption of Herbal Therapies. Ther Innov Regul Sci 36, 179–186 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1177/009286150203600123

Download citation

Key Words

  • Herb
  • Consumer
  • Supplement
  • Adoption