Understanding support for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in general populations: Use and perceived efficacy

Stoneman, P and Sturgis, P and Allum, N (2012) Understanding support for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in general populations: Use and perceived efficacy. NCRM Working Paper. NCRM. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Proponents of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) argue that these treatments can be used with great effect in addition to, and sometimes instead of, conventional’ medicine, a position which has drawn sustained opposition from those who advocate an evidence-based approach to the evaluation of treatment efficacy. Using recent survey data from the UK, this paper seeks to establish a clearer understanding of the nature of the public’s relationship with CAM within the general population by focusing on beliefs about the perceived effectiveness of homeopathy, in addition to its reported use. Using recent data from the UK, we initially demonstrate that reported use and perceived effectiveness are far from coterminous and argue that for a proper understanding of the motivations underpinning public support of CAM, consideration of both reported use and perceived effectiveness is necessary. We go on to demonstrate that although the profile of homeopathy users differs from those who support this form of medicine, neither outcome is dependent upon peoples’ levels of knowledge about science. Instead, the results suggest a far greater explanatory role for need and concerns about conventional medicine.

Item Type:Working Paper (NCRM Working Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Homeopathy; Population Estimates; Public Understanding of Science
Subjects:2. Data Collection > 2.2 Sampling
4. Data Handling and Data Analysis > 4.2 Quantitative Approaches > 4.2.3 Survey Data Analysis and Estimation
ID Code:2925
Deposited By: Mrs Kaisa Puustinen
Deposited On:13 Dec 2012 13:51
Last Modified:13 Dec 2012 13:52

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