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Original Article Causal Model of Herb Use Behavior Among Working-age Adults in Thailand
Pitchada Prasittichok1orcid , Patcharee Duangchan2orcid , Sattawat Prapasiri3orcid , Ungsinun Intarakamhang1corresp_iconorcid

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.23.554 [Accepted]
Published online: June 21, 2024
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1Behavioral Science Research Institute, Srinakharinwirot University, Bangkok, Thailand
2Faculty of Pharmacy, Srinakharinwirot University, , Nakhon Nayok, Thailand
3Chanthaburi Special Education Center, Chanthaburi, Thailand
Corresponding author:  Ungsinun Intarakamhang,
Email: ungsinun@gmail.com
Received: 1 December 2023   • Revised: 28 May 2024   • Accepted: 30 May 2024

Objectives
This study developed a causal relationship model of herb use from observational data and analyzed the direct and indirect effects of herb use on health according to the model.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted with 400 participants aged 26-59 years, selected through multistage random sampling. The instruments used for data collection included demographic information, herb use, health literacy (HL), perceived social support, societal values, and attitudes toward herb use. The conceptual model, hypothesized based on prior evidence, was tested using confirmatory factor analysis through structural equation modeling. Path coefficients were estimated using the maximum likelihood method.
Results
The final model utilized empirical data, which showed that perceived social support had the most significant impact on herb use. This was followed by HL, positive attitudes toward herbal remedies, and societal values, with coefficients of 0.31, 0.18, and 0.16, respectively. When analyzing variables that indirectly affected herb use, it was clear that positive attitudes, perceived social support, and societal values significantly influenced herb use through HL, with influence coefficients of 0.08, 0.16, and 0.04, respectively. Together, these variables accounted for 68% of the variance in herb use.
Conclusions
The findings from this study can be utilized to develop and implement strategies that guide the use of herbal products, ultimately aiming to improve human health.

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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health