The Association of Multimorbidity With Whole Health Activities Among Adults in the United States: Evidence From the NHIS and BRFSS




Neba, Rolake A.
Warner, Mayela
Manning, Sydney E.
Wiener, R. Constance
Sambamoorthi, Usha


0000-0002-7348-6369 (Neba, Rolake A.)
0000-0001-8311-1360 (Sambamoorthi, Usha)
0000-0003-1715-7891 (Manning, Sydney E.)

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Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine & Health


BACKGROUND: Whole health is a holistic approach encompassing integrative medicine, emotional, and spiritual health and is critical to improving health outcomes among individuals with multimorbidity. OBJECTIVE: To examine the prevalence of Whole Health activities and the association of multimorbidity and Whole Health activities using nationally representative datasets. METHODS: As no single dataset has information on Whole Health self-care activities, data from the 2017 National Health Interview Survey (n = 25 134) was used to measure participants' mind-body therapy usage, sleep, mental health, and physical activity. We used the 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (n = 347 029) to assess regular vegetable and/or fruit consumption. RESULTS: A significantly lower percentage of adults with multimorbidity had adequate sleep (58.2%vs.67.1%), no psychological distress (71.8%vs.82.1%), adequate physical activity (48.2%vs.62.1%), and regular vegetable and/or fruit consumption (54.2%vs.56.6%) compared to those without multimorbidity. Although lower percentages of adults with multimorbidity utilized mind-body therapies (22.9%vs.25.2%), the association was reversed when adjusted for socioeconomic factors. In the fully adjusted models, adults with multimorbidity were more likely to use mind-body therapies (AOR = 1.19, 95%CI = 1.09, 1.31). Furthermore, when adjusting for other independent variables, the associations of multimorbidity with sleep, psychological distress, and diet were exacerbated, and the association of multimorbidity with physical activity was attenuated. CONCLUSION: Adults with multimorbidity were less likely to engage in most of the Whole Health activities except mind-body therapies compared to the no multimorbidity group. Findings suggest that adjustment for other factors such as age and socioeconomic status changed the magnitude and direction of the association of multimorbidity with Whole Health activities.



Neba, R. A., Warner, M., Manning, S. E., Wiener, R. C., & Sambamoorthi, U. (2023). The Association of Multimorbidity With Whole Health Activities Among Adults in the United States: Evidence From the NHIS and BRFSS. Global advances in integrative medicine and health, 12, 27536130231156857.


© The Author(s) 2023


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