Universal Medicine Associated with Improved Physical and Mental Health in Women: Results from a Regression Analysis of a Cross-Sectional Survey

Christoph Schnelle, Vanessa McHardy, Eunice J. Minford

Research output: Working paperPreprint


Background: There are a small number of communities with unusually good health and longevity but their impact on our understanding of health has been limited. Women associated with Universal Medicine (UM), a complementary-to-medicine Australian and UK-based healthcare organisation, are placed above average on many indicators of physical and mental health. Our objective was to expand on these findings by investigating associations between demographic variables and health indicators, and assessing how the SF-36 questionnaire surveys women of above-average health.<br><br>Methods: The study described in this paper is part of a quantitative, cross-sectional survey of 449 women who are UM participants living in 15 countries. The women answered 43 questions from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health (ALSWH), allowing a comparison between the two populations. Multivariable regression discerned associations between demographic variables and health scales. SF-36 summary scores resulting from orthogonal and oblique coefficients were also investigated.<br><br>Results: Length of association with UM was a predictor of lower levels of stress, depression, emotional distress, and higher (better) levels of numerous physical and mental health indicators. No associations were found for the perceived control scale, SF-36 general health and social functioning subscales. The SF-36 showed measurement weaknesses in assessing respondents with above-average levels of both physical and mental health due to ceiling effects; however, the instrument was still useful in discerning associations between SF-36 scores and UM respondents’ demographic variables.<br><br>UM respondents with a previous serious illness or precursor to a chronic illness did not differ substantially in their physical or mental health from the other respondents. <br>UM respondents have a much lower mean BMI of 21 than the ALSWH respondents’ BMI of 26. <br><br>Conclusions: The UM respondents report notably lower BMI and higher levels of physical and mental health than does the general population of women. Time of association with Universal Medicine is connected with better scores on most health scales and matching scores on all other health scales. Investigating whether the relationship between UM and better health is causal, and whether any causality can be transferred to the general population seem to be worthwhile research goals.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherSocial Science Research Network (SSRN)
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


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