Ethnic differences in medicinal plant use among University students: a cross-sectional survey of self-reported medicinal plant use at two Midwest Universities
In this study, the authors investigated the predictors of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and herbal supplement use among university students. They investigated demographic factors, trait affectivity, symptom reports, and individuals' worries about modernity as potential contributors to use of CAM and herbals. The authors surveyed 506 undergraduates at a large southeastern state universityand administered the following questionnaires to participants in a group setting: a CAM survey, an herbal use survey, a negative affect (NA) and positive affect (PA) scale, Modern Health Worries scale, and the Subjective Health Complaint scale. Overall, 58 % of the participants had used at least one type of CAM, and 79 % of the students had used at least one herbal substance in the past 12 months. A hierarchical regression determined that increased age, female gender, flu-like symptoms, musculoskeletal symptoms, pseudoneurological symptoms, and modern health worries were significantly related to students' CAM use. Herbal use was related to increased age, musculoskeletal, pseudoneurological, and gastrointestinal symptoms.