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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 710750, 8 pages
Research Article

Acupuncture Use among American Adults: What Acupuncture Practitioners Can Learn from National Health Interview Survey 2007?

1Division of Health Services Research, Department of Family and Community Medicine, Laura W. Bush Institute for Women's Health, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 3601 4th Street, STOP 8143, Lubbock, TX 79430, USA
2Family and Community Medicine, TCM Research Program, Center for Integrative Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, East Hall, 520 W. Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
3Division of Health Services Research, Department of Health Promotion and Policy, University of Maryland School of Dentistry, and Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 650 West Baltimore Street, Room 2213, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
4Department of Family and Community Medicine, Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, 9849 Kenworthy Street, El Paso, TX 79924, USA

Received 9 August 2011; Accepted 9 November 2011

Academic Editor: Arndt BΓΌssing

Copyright Β© 2012 Yan Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper examined the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) 2007 and explored acupuncture users sociodemographics characteristics, reasons and the nature of acupuncture use, and the relationship of such use with conventional medical care. All individuals who completed adults core interviews ( 𝑁 = 23,393) were included. Three subsets of samples (nonuser, former user, and recent user) were used in the analysis performed in Stata. Our findings revealed that ever acupuncture user (including former and recent user) increased from 4.2% to 6.3% of the population, representing 8.19 million and 14.01 million users in 2002 and 2007, respectively. We expected this trend to continue. People not only used acupuncture as a complementary and alternative approach to conventional treatment for a specific health condition, but also used it as a preventive means to promote general health. Effectiveness and safety appeared not to be the main predictors of acupuncture use; rather, awareness, cost, and insurance coverage played a bigger role in decision making.