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Los Angeles County adults aged 18 years and older were recruited from a panel of subscribers, which were selected by a sub-contracted online panel provider.This panel provider generally invites prospective respondents with pre-existing relationships to globally recognized and business-focused companies such as Delta Airlines and Macy’s to join the survey panel and be screened for eligibility into various surveys.The present study sought to better understand how including or excluding prayer could affect reporting of CAM use among residents of a large, urban U. Patterns of CAM use by socio-demographic characteristics were described for the two operationalized definitions.Multivariable binomial regression analyses were performed to control for gender, age, race/ethnicity, education, employment, income, and health insurance status.In the County of Los Angeles, for example, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) utilizes both surveillance and benchmarking data to guide decisions about funding for health and human services, community programming, and consumer protection messaging that target priority populations. Empirical evidence in the literature suggests that prayer is associated with race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (18–22).The emerging dialog on whether to incorporate “prayer” into the definition of CAM is timely and an appropriate question to answer, given the growing movement toward value-based care in the U. Specifically, ethnic-minorities and individuals of lower socioeconomic status are often the groups that pray most often and are the most likely to combine treatments that are more non-traditional or outside mainstream medicine, typically without any disclosure to their physicians (19–22).This inconsistent operationalization of CAM has and will continue to alter the core activities of public health practice.
Variable definitions of CAM are known to affect public health surveillance (i.e., continuous, systematic data collection, analysis, and interpretation) or benchmarking (i.e., identifying and comparing key indicators of health to inform community planning) related to this non-mainstream collection of health and wellness therapies. Design: Using population-weighted data from a cross-sectional Internet panel survey collected as part of a larger countywide population health survey, the study compared use of CAM based on whether prayer or no prayer was included in its definition.
In addition to the age criterion, the respondents of the DPH survey had to meet quota targets created for socio-demographics that were aligned with the 2012 American Community Survey (ACS) and the 2011 Los Angeles County Health Survey (LACHS).
The quota targets allowed the vendor to recruit a sample that, as closely as possible, represented the socio-demographic distributions of the region’s service planning areas.
The present study sought to contribute to this gap in public health practice and to the dialogs about CAM integration by comparing CAM use across a socio-demographically diverse sample of Los Angeles County residents, based on whether prayer or no prayer (broadly defined) was included as part of the operational definition.
The diversity in Los Angeles County makes this jurisdiction a prime study location for examining this subject matter.
This, in turn, affects local planning of health and human services.