Intention to encourage complementary and alternative medicine among general practitioners and medical students

Behav Med. Summer 2007;33(2):67-77. doi: 10.3200/BMED.33.2.67-79.


The authors' goal was to identify factors explaining intention to encourage a patient to follow complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatment among general practitioners (GPs), fourth-year medical students, and residents in family medicine. They surveyed 500 GPs and 904 medical students via a self-administered mailed questionnaire that they based on the Theory of Planned Behavior. Respondents expressed a neutral level of intention to encourage CAM approach. Variables explaining 75% of variance of intention of all participants were: moral norm, beta=0.34, p<.0001; perceived behavioral control, beta=0.29, p<.0001; attitude, beta=0.22, p<.0001; descriptive norm, beta=0.13, p<.0001; and professional status, (GPs, beta=-0.07, p<.0001; residents, beta=-0.07, p<.0001). Facilitating conditions and developing a better perception of control over perceived obstacles could help enhance health-care practitioners' intentions to use CAM. Also, a clear position on the part of the medical community would help to define a professional norm in line with the moral norm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Chronic Disease / psychology
  • Chronic Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Combined Modality Therapy / psychology
  • Complementary Therapies / psychology*
  • Data Collection
  • Family Practice / education*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intention*
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Physicians, Family / psychology*
  • Students, Medical / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires