Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use Among Amish and Non-Amish Residents of Ohio Appalachia

Abstract

The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is common among many rural residents but little is known about its use among the Amish. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of CAM therapy use among an Amish community and compare it to a rural non-Amish population. Data were taken from a cancer-related lifestyle cross-sectional individual interview survey conducted among Amish and non-Amish residents of Ohio Appalachia. Amish adults (62 males, 72 females) were compared to non-Amish adults (64 males, 90 females) in terms of CAM therapy use and utilization of mainstream healthcare services. Prior use of any CAM therapy was highly prevalent among both Amish (males: 98%, female: 100%) and non-Amish (males: 89%, females: 98%) participants. CAM therapies for which the prevalence was significantly higher among Amish participants for both genders included chiropractic therapy (males: 84% vs. 61%, p=0.005; females: 90% vs. 57%, p<0.001) and reflexology (males: 35% vs. 5%, p<0.001; females: 53% vs. 13%, p<0.001). Few differences in the use of mainstream healthcare services were found between Amish and non-Amish participants. While CAM therapy use was widespread among both Amish and non-Amish participants, the Amish generally reported higher levels of prior use. These findings underscore the importance of physicians and nurses collecting information on CAM therapies when treating patients in this region, particularly Amish patients.
https://doi.org/10.14574/ojrnhc.v9i2.84
PDF

Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:

  1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share (for non-commerical purposes) the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
  2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
  3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).