Sociodemographic Factors Correlating With The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Among Ethiopian Immigrants in The USA

Author(s): Fekadu Fullas, Bisrat Hailemeskel, Anteneh Habte, LaMarcus T Wingate

Objective: To determine sociodemographic factors that help to predict the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by Ethiopian immigrants in the USA.

A multicomponent survey was administered to over 350 Ethiopian immigrants to elicit information regarding their demographic characteristics and use of CAM. The primary dependent variable was use of CAM within the past 5 years. Descriptive statistics were utilized to characterize the sample in regards to gender, age, education, income and length of residency in the USA. Bivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine which factors were associated with use of CAM. Multivariate logistic regression was utilized to evaluate which characteristics predicted use of CAM after adjusting for other variables.

Results: A bivariate logistic regression analysis of CAM use among Ethiopian immigrants in the USA showed that females were twice as likely as males to use herbs and supplements. Survey participants with some college or associate degree level education had 2.21 times greater odds for using herbs and supplements than those with only high school education. No association was discerned between herbs/supplements use and the categories of age and length of residency in the USA. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, gender, some college level education and annual income greater than $100,000 showed significant association with the use of herbs and supplements.

Conclusion: Certain demographic characteristics such as gender, education and income can be useful in helping to predict which Ethiopian immigrants are more likely to use CAM.

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