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Using Zero-Inflated Models to Explain Chronic Illness, Pain, and Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use

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Objective: To extend knowledge of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use by understanding how poor health influences both trying CAM and number of CAM types used. Methods: Using the 2002 National Health Interview Survey's Supplemental Section, zero-inflated models were employed to examine CAM use across 5 domains. Results: Results indicate that level of pain is the only consistent predictor of both the likelihood of trying CAM and how many types of CAM are used. Pain increased the odds ratio and number of CAM types used across all domains. Findings, however, were mixed for health status and chronic conditions. Only prayer was associated with higher odds ratio (OR=1.705, P<.001) and number of CAM types used for chronic illnesses (OR=1.024, P<.01). Conclusions: Expanding to zero-inflated models demonstrates variation in CAM use behaviors. Pain is the only consistent predictor of both trying CAM and the number of CAM types used. Chronic illness is only consistently influential for prayer.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-07-01

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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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