A sociobehavioral model of acupuncture use, patterns, and satisfaction among women in the United States, 2002

Objectives. To examine the correlates of recent acupuncture use among American women, applying a sociobehavioral model of utilization of conventional health care. Patterns of use, satisfaction, and reasons for acupuncture use are also examined. Methods. The 2002 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is used, which included the Alternative Health/Complementary Alternative Medicine Supplement. All analyses and estimates used the NHIS individual-level sampling weights; variance estimates were adjusted to account for complex sample design. Bivariate statistics and logistic regression were used. We included data from 17,112 women. Results. Prevalence of recent acupuncture use was low (1.1%), but translates to >1.2 million American women. Multivariate results showed the effects of race and ethnicity on acupuncture use were contingent on educational level. Women living in the West were more likely to use acupuncture, as were women with fair health status, former smokers, current moderate/heavy alcohol users, and women with a higher body mass index. Women tended to use acupuncture for conditions not commonly well treated by conventional medicine (e.g., chronic pain) and the majority reported using acupuncture in conjunction with conventional medicine. Conclusions. Predisposing and enabling factors, as well as medical need and personal health practices, are associated with women's recent use of acupuncture services, including several that are also associated with conventional health care services.