The Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine among Chinese Canadians pp. 1-36
Authors: (Marilyn A. Roth, Karen M. Kobayashi, Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University College London, London, England, and others)
Abstract: This chapter examines the relationship between Chinese Canadian ethnicity and the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and explores some of the factors that contribute to CAM use among this visible minority group. Using data from the 2003 Canadian Community Health Survey, we employ multivariate logistic regression techniques to investigate the extent to which CAM use varies among Chinese Canadians and non-Chinese Canadians. Two three-way interactions, which demonstrate how the combination of certain identity markers increases their predictive value within the model, are also examined. The results indicate that use of complementary and alternative medicine varies according to ethnicity, with Chinese Canadians being more likely to use than non-Chinese Canadians. Further, we find that cultural factors play a key role in establishing the necessary conditions for increasing the likelihood of CAM use for Chinese Canadians. Indeed, two of the three most commonly sought CAM modalities (i.e., acupuncture and herbal medicine) used by Chinese Canadians are rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine, thereby implicating cultural markers in CAM use. Other important factors that are found to facilitate CAM use among the Chinese include social capital, as indicated by sense of belonging to local community, the cultural context of their community, and the extent to which their place of residence is institutionally complete. Findings are discussed in terms of their implications for health care policy and program development for visible minority immigrant adults.