Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Jun;14(5):537-44. doi: 10.1089/acm.2007.0821.

Correlates of complementary and alternative medicine utilization in depressed, underserved african american and Hispanic patients in primary care settings.

Author information

Department of Family Medicine, Charles Drew University of Medicine & Science, Los Angeles, CA 90059, USA.



This study seeks to examine the correlates of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in depressed underserved minority populations receiving medical care in primary care settings.


A prospective study using interviewer-administered surveys and medical record reviews was conducted at 2 large outpatient primary care clinics providing care primarily to underserved African American and Hispanic individuals located in Los Angeles, California. A total of 2321 patients were screened for depression. Of these, 315 met the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 criteria for mild to severe depression.


Over 57% of the sample reported using CAM sometimes or often (24%) and frequently (33%) for treatment of their depressive symptoms. Controlling for demographic characteristics, lack of health care coverage remained one of the strongest predictors of CAM use. Additionally, being moderately depressed, using psychotherapeutic prescription medications, and poorer self-reported health status were all associated with increased frequency of CAM utilization for treating depression.


The underserved African American and Hispanic individuals meeting the diagnostic criteria for depression or subsyndromal depression use CAM extensively for symptoms of depression. CAM is used as a substitute for conventional care when access to care is not available or limited. Since CAM is used so extensively for depression, understanding domains, types, and correlates of such use is imperative. This knowledge could be used to design interventions aimed at improving care for depression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center