This study investigated some of the factors associated with the choice of alternative health therapy that have attracted the greatest attention in the largely exploratory research carried out to date.
Patients of an alternative health centre and a comparable community sample were interviewed by telephone.
The alternative therapy respondents showed a substantially lower level of confidence in the efficacy of conventional medicine in general, but they were not clearly less satisfied with their recent experiences with medical practitioners and treatment.
Even though there was no evidence that they suffered more from persistent medical conditions, they were clearly less satisfied with the ability of conventional treatment to relieve them.
Alternative therapy respondents preferred alternative treatment for a wide range of symptoms, but they were selective in their choices of treatment.
They perceived themselves to be substantially more « unconventional » than did the community sample.
Overall, the variables that best distinguished the alternative therapy group from the community sample were « unconventionality » and « general lack of confidence in conventional medical treatment », both of which made significant independent contributions.
It is suggested that research in the area should now move from an exploratory approach to the testing of explicit explanatory propositions.
Mots-clés Pascal : Médecine parallèle, Attitude, Autoperception, Choix, Malade, Homme, Prédiction, Préférence
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Alternative medicine, Attitude, Self perception, Choice, Patient, Human, Prediction, Preference
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 96-0463373
Code Inist : 002B30A11. Création : 10/04/1997.