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Ever saw provider for folk medicine

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults in 2002 and sample children and adults in 2012, FOKEV reports whether the person had ever seen a provider or practitioner for folk medicine. Those who answered affirmatively were asked whether they had seen a provider or practitioner of folk medicine in the past 12 months (FOKYR). In 2007, data on the use of traditional healers in the past year was also collected for sample children.

FOKEV is part of a series of variables from the 2002, 2007 and 2012 supplements on Complementary and Alternative Medicine. In those years, respondents were asked about their use of folk medicine and 15 other modalities of alternative medicine.

Some of the NHIS questions dealing with folk medicine changed between 2002 and 2007. In 2002, FOKEV indicates whether sample adults had seen a generic provider or practitioner for folk medicine.

However, in 2007, sample adults were asked if they had ever seen particular types of traditional healers. Those recognized in the 2007 survey included Botanicas (FOKBOTAN), Curanderos (FOKCURAN), Espiritistas (FOKESPIR), Native American Medicine Men (FOKNAM), Shamans (FOKSHAM), Sobadores (FOKSOBAD), and Hierberos/Yerberas (FOKYERB).

Related Variables
Additional information about the use of traditional medicine was collected for respondents who reported using traditional medicine in the past 12 months, including variables on frequency and cost of use. Please use the IPUMS NHIS drop-down menus and search function to explore these variables.


There are no comparability issues.


  • 2002: Sample adults age 18+.
  • 2012: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children of ages 4-17.


  • 2002, 2012