This project investigated the process by which African-Americans in Chicago decided to access drugless, natural health care systems in conjunction with, or as alternatives to, orthodox medical care. The study focused on African-American users of the drugless, natural health care systems of chiropractic and naprapathy. The data for the study were qualitative and ethnographic, and included over 100 in-depth interviews, extensive field notes based on participant observation and related documents. The findings involved constructing a five-stage sequential model that describes the process of conversion to regular use of natural health care. The purpose of this article is to present a model of nonmedical illness behavior that can sensitize health care practitioners to the situational and contingent factors affecting patients' choices.
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