Predictors of complementary and alternative medicine use among Texas university undergraduates



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Texas A&M University


Research regarding use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among all populations in America is needed to understand what seems to be an increasing trend. Education has been shown to be a significant determinant of CAM use, therefore, college students are likely to be CAM users. Little research has addressed the prevalence and predictors of CAM use among this population, so 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. A random sample of undergraduate students within the Texas A&M University System was solicited via email to complete a web-based survey. 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. Results can inform health care and health education professionals interested in improving health care processes and addressing positive and negative issues related to CAM use.