Complementary and alternative medicine use and psychosocial outcomes among urban adolescents with asthma

Christina M. Luberto, Michael S. Yi, Joel Tsevat, Anthony C. Leonard, Sian Cotton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective. Many adolescents with asthma use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for asthma symptom management. The purpose of this study was to investigate cross-sectional and longitudinal differences in psychosocial health outcomes between high and low CAM users among urban adolescents with asthma. Methods. Adolescents (Time 1: N = 151, Time 2: N = 131) completed self-report measures regarding the use of 10 CAM modalities, mental health, and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) following two clinic visits 1 year apart as part of a larger observational study. Multivariable regression analyses using backward elimination examined relationships between CAM use at Time 1 and outcomes at Time 1 and Time 2, controlling for key covariates and, in longitudinal analyses, Time 1 functioning. Results. Participants (Mage = 15.8, SD = 1.85) were primarily African-American (n = 129 [85%]) and female (n = 91 [60%]) adolescents with asthma. High and low CAM users differed significantly in terms of several psychosocial health outcomes, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. In cross-sectional multivariable analyses, greater frequency of praying was associated with better psychosocial HRQoL (R2 = 0.22). No longitudinal relationships remained significant in multivariable analyses. Conclusions. Specific CAM techniques are differentially associated with psychosocial outcomes, indicating the importance of examining CAM modalities individually. Greater frequency of praying was cross-sectionally associated with better psychosocial HRQoL. When controlling for key covariates, CAM use was not associated with psychosocial outcomes over time. Further research should examine the effects of CAM use in controlled research settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-415
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • anxiety
  • depression
  • health-related quality of life
  • prayer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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