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Saw an Espiritista, past 12 months

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults in 2007 who had ever seen an Espiritista for health reasons (FOKESPIR), FOKESPIRYR reports whether the person had seen an Espiritista in the past 12 months.

Folk medicine was one of many alternative health treatment modalities included in the 2002 and 2007 Alternative Health Supplements. Although the 2002 Supplement asked about the use of a generic "practitioner for folk medicine," the 2007 Supplement asked about the use of particular kinds of traditional healers, including Botanicas, Curanderos Espiritistas, Native American Medicine Men, Shamans, Sobadors, and Hierberos or Yerberas. For the full list of alternative health treatments covered in the NHIS, and for general background information about the Alternative Health Supplements, see ACUYR.

In 2007, if sample adults gave a positive response to FOKESPIRYR (or to the comparable variables FOKYR [2002 only], FOKBOTANYR, FOKCURANYR, FOKNAMYR, FOKSHAMYR, FOKSOBADYR, or FOKYERBYR, which cover use of specific types of folk medicine in the past 12 months), they were asked a series of follow-up questions (see FOKYR).

In addition, both sample children (2007 only) and sample adults (both 2002 and 2007) who had used any of the eight forms of folk medicine in the past 12 months were asked whether the folk medicine was used to treat a specific medical condition and, if so, what that condition was (see FOKTREAT).


The 2007 Field Representative's Manual says that an Espiritistas:

assess a patient's condition and recommend herbs and/or religious amulets in order to improve physical or mental health or to help overcome a personal problem.

In 2007 field representatives were advised to "feel free to offer [this definition] even if the respondent has not requested [it]."


There is a slight difference in wording for FOKESPIRYR between sample adults and sample children.


Sample adults were asked, "During the past 12 months, did you see an Espiritista ... ?"

Sample children were asked, "During the past 12 months, did [fill: sample child's name] see any of the following practitioners for health reasons? ... Espiritista."

Thus, the question for sample children specifies that the use of the Espiritista must be "for health reasons." Although the question for sample adults does not specify "health reasons," the preceding question for sample adults (FOKESPIR) does ask whether the respondent has ever seen an Espiritista for health reasons.


  • 2007: Sample adults age 18+ who have ever seen an Espiritista and sample children under 18.


  • 2007