All measures were categorical, and data were analyzed using cross-tabs and chi-square tests in SPSS version 11.5 for Windows..

Women CAM users in this study were an average of 42 years of age; the majority of them were currently employed, married, and had health insurance in the previous year.

Respondents were asked about their use of remedies or treatments not typically prescribed by a medical doctor.

This study focuses on those women who used CAM in the previous year and their reasons for using CAM.

Physician referral, family and friends, and media sources were all equally likely to lead to CAM use in non-Hispanic white women.

In contrast, informal networks of family and friends were the most important social influences of CAM use among African-, Mexican-, and Chinese-American women.

Non-Hispanic white and Chinese-American women CAM users had the highest levels of education and household income.

Mexican-American women CAM users were the least likely to be employed or have health insurance.


Here we report on the subsample of women who reported using at least one of these CAM domains.Nearly one third of non-Hispanic white, African-American, and Mexican-American women reported a recommendation from their doctor as a reason for using CAM.Reading or hearing something on the media was cited most frequently by African-American women (42%) and least by Chinese-American women (18%).More than one third of CAM users cited either ineffectiveness or side effects of conventional medicine as reasons for CAM use (data not shown).Among non-Hispanic white, African-American, and Chinese-American women who used CAM, ineffectiveness or side effects of conventional medicine were more common reasons for CAM use than inability to afford conventional medicine ().

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