Social-Cognitive Predictors of College Student Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Authors: Versnik Nowak, Amy L.; Dorman, Steve M.

Source: American Journal of Health Education, 1 March 2008, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 80-90(11)

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Abstract:

Background: Little research has addressed the prevalence and predictors of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among undergraduate students. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to: (1) measure the prevalence and type of CAM use among a sample of college undergraduates, and (2) test the significance of select social-cognitive constructs and demographics as predictors of CAM use among a college population. Methods: A random sample of undergraduate students within the Texas A&M University system was solicited via e-mail to complete a web-based survey. Results: Findings show high rates of CAM use. Gender, attitude toward CAM, outcome expectancies regarding the health care encounter, and social network use of CAM were shown to be significant predictors of CAM use. Discussion: CAM use is popular among college students. Results from this study can inform health care and health education professionals interested in improving health care processes and addressing positive and negative issues related to CAM use. Translation to Health Education Practice: Health educators should be prepared to present CAM as health care options and discuss benefits and risks associated with CAM therapies. Researchers should continue to explore the psychosocial determinants of CAM use as a guide for health education and intervention.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2008

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