A Qualitative Assessment of an Alternative Medicine Program
Psychology and Education
CAM, defined as complementary and alternative medical treatments, has a growing demand. In the United States, its use has reached over 600 million annual visits, exceeding that of primary care (Eisenberg et al., 1998) and CAM users appear to be a distinct population within treatment systems. Risk, cost, and deficient scientific evidence constitute the main barriers to treatment. Therefore, we conducted a phenomenological appraisal concerning one CAM method regarding the initial motivation and long term success among nutrition patients. This program was evaluated because it claims an empirical foundation for treatment planning. Semi-structured interviews were conducted on a criterion sample of fifteen successful CAM participants. Two primary motivators for participation were illness recovery or prevention of sickness. Contrary to the scientific claims of the program, most participants articulated their success in terms of subjective feelings regarding quality of life.
Firmin, M., Battaglia, K., & Gustafson, J. (2008). A qualitative assessment of an alternative medicine program. Psychology and Education, 45, 1-18.