Prevalence of Herbal Therapy Use in Active Duty Air Force Women
UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIV OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES BETHESDA MD BETHESDA United States
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The herbal market in the United States is booming. With estimated 1999 sales of 5 billion, some 60 million Americans are taking herbs regularly. Orems Self-care Theory states self-care is a form of human activity referred to as deliberate action. The action can be goal-seeking or result-seeking activity. The decision to take herbs can be viewed as goal-seeking activity, such as health promotion, or a result-seeking activity, such as symptom relief. Few studies have documented the use of herbs by military women. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of herbal use among active duty Air Force women. The study describes the perceived benefits and adverse effects of the herbs, and whether respondents told their healthcare providers of herbal use. The results provide information about the health practices of these women and suggest areas where practitioners may better meet the healthcare needs of this population. The results indicate that women in the military are using herbal therapies at a higher rate than the civilian population and only thirty-three percent of respondents told their medical provider of herbal use. The questionnaire was developed after a thorough review of the literature. The questionnaire was mailed to a random sample of 500 active duty Air Force women throughout the United States. The random list was obtained from the Department of Defense Manpower Data Center. Survey forms were not coded until received by researcher in order to protect the anonymity of the respondent.