Prevalence of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Immigrants

Bilikisu Reni Elewonibi, Rhonda BeLue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Immigrants face barriers to accessing conventional health care systems. Hence, they are expected to have comparatively greater use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). This study examines the prevalence of and reason for CAM use in the U.S. population by citizenship status. Data on 34,483 U.S.-born, naturalized, and non-U.S. citizens from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey was used. CAM was categorized into four domains. Analyses controlling for socioeconomic variables were identified patterns of utilization and reasons for use. The prevalence of all CAM domains was lowest among non-U.S. citizens followed by naturalized citizens. The odds of using CAM were also higher for the immigrants who attained citizenship than for non-citizens. Individuals in all groups reported using more CAM for prevention. Factors related to cost, accessibility, or knowledge of CAM use may contribute to lower use of CAM by naturalized and non-U.S. citizens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)600-607
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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