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Arthritis Care Res. 1996 Oct;9(5):384-90.

Gender and ethnic differences in alternative and conventional arthritis remedy use among community-dwelling rural adults with arthritis.

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  • 1Center for Urban and Regional Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 27599-3410, USA.



To examine the frequency of, and the ethnic and gender differences in, the use of arthritis remedies among rural adults.


Interviews were conducted with 219 adults from a nonmetropolitan North Carolina county. Participants reported whether they ever used and still used 19 remedies. Participants were evaluated for the actual presence of arthritis and functional capacity. Analysis included descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression.


Participants used a variety of alternative and conventional remedies, with prayer (92%) being most widely used. Prescription medicine was used by 60%. Differences in remedy use included European-Americans making greater use of conventional remedies and African-Americans making greater use of some alternative remedies. Those with greater functional disability have used alternative remedies, but they still used prescription medicine.


Rural individuals use a variety of remedies, with differences by gender, ethnicity, and functional capacity. Future research must examine the role of gender, culture, residence, and disease severity in arthritis remedy use decisions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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