Medical pluralism of Chinese women living in the United States

J Immigr Minor Health. 2007 Oct;9(4):255-67. doi: 10.1007/s10903-007-9038-x.


This study provides national prevalence estimates for complementary and alternative (CAM) use, visits to doctors for health problems, and the effects of acculturation on health practices in Chinese women living in the United States. A national telephone survey of 3,172 women on their use of complementary and alternative medicine was conducted in 2001. This study focuses on a subsample of 804 Chinese-American women who were asked about health practices and service utilization. Interviews were conducted in Mandarin, Cantonese and English. Forty-one percent of Chinese-American women used some form of CAM in 2001. Socio-economic status, a common predictor of CAM use in other studies of the general population in the United States, did not predict use in this sample. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is used across acculturation levels. As Chinese women adapt to American culture they tend to use a greater variety of healthcare practices and to adopt mainstream CAM practices, but they also continue to use TCM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acculturation*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • China / ethnology
  • Complementary Therapies / psychology*
  • Complementary Therapies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional / psychology
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Office Visits / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Women's Health