Ursidae: The Undergraduate Research Journal at the University of Northern Colorado


Erin Sanchez

Faculty Sponsor

Susan Hutchinson


Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has been determined to be highly effective in treating health problems and improving the lives of college students. However, if students are not using CAM therapies, they are not receiving the benefits that CAM could provide them. In a small city, where CAM may not be widely available, CAM use may be low. The current study attempted to determine if trends in student CAM use in large cities are similar in a small city. A survey was distributed to undergraduates at a mid-sized university in the Rocky Mountain region, yielding 217 completed surveys. The survey asked students about their use of, knowledge about, attitudes toward, and barriers to using CAM, as well as their demographic characteristics including gender, ethnicity, religion, and parental income. Frequencies revealed that knowledge was a major barrier to student CAM use. A t-test determined that females tended to have more knowledge about CAM than males. Correlation and regression analyses suggested that demographic characteristics did not explain CAM use; while, positive attitudes toward CAM and more knowledge about CAM may lead to higher CAM use. These findings may be useful in developing strategies for increasing undergraduate students’ use of CAM.