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J Altern Complement Med. 2014 Jan;20(1):32-9. doi: 10.1089/acm.2012.0120. Epub 2013 Feb 15.

A sociobehavioral wellness model of acupuncture use in the United States, 2007.

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  • 1Department of Community Health Sciences, UCLA School of Public Health , Los Angeles, CA.



The purpose of this study was to provide updated and more comprehensive data on the correlates and patterns of acupuncture use in the United States, applying a sociobehavioral wellness model of utilization. Predisposing factors, enabling resources, need, and personal health practices were investigated. Patterns of recent usage, including assessing the reason for use based on treatment of a health condition, for wellness, or both, were examined. Also, for the first time, attitudes about acupuncture reported by previous users and never users were presented.


Data from the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), a cross-sectional, household survey representative of the U.S. civilian population, were used, which included the Complementary and Alternative Medicine supplement. Adults 18 and over (n=22,512) were analyzed. Bivariate prevalence estimates were obtained and logistic regression models were estimated. In addition, all analyses were weighted.


The primary outcome measure was recent use of acupuncture, defined as any use in the past 12 months.


In 2007, 6.8% of adults reported lifetime use of acupuncture and 1.5% reported use in the past 12 months. Multivariate results showed significant effects in the expected directions for multiple variables in each of the four domains of our conceptual model (predisposing factors, enabling resources, need, and personal health practices). Among recent users, close to half reported some mention of wellness as a reason for use. Musculoskeletal conditions and pain were the top health conditions treated and these users, to some extent, integrated conventional and acupuncture care. Negative attitudes or skepticism about acupuncture were not common reasons for nonuse among prior and never users.


Application of a sociobehavioral wellness model to frame correlates and patterns of recent acupuncture use in the Unites States shows promise.

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