Ethnic Differences in Elders' Home Remedy Use: Sociostructural Explanations

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Objective: To determine if ethnic differences in elders' use of home remedies are explained by structured inequalities. Method: Dichotomous indicators of “food” and “other” home remedies were obtained from a randomly selected cohort of older adults with diabetes (N=701). Analyses evaluated if differences in availability of care, economic hardship, and health status explained ethnic differences in home remedy use. Results: Differences in residential location, discretionary money, and health partially explained greater home remedy use among Black and Native American elders relative to whites. Conclusions: Ethnic differences in elders' use of home remedies are not largely attributed to socially structured inequalities.

Keywords: culture; ethnicity; health maintenance; home remedies; older adults

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Family and Community Medicine 2: Department of Public Health Sciences, Section on Epidemiology 3: Department of Public Health Sciences, Section on Biostatistics 4: Department of Public Health Sciences, Section on Epidemiology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine; Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC.

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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