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Altern Ther Health Med. 2011 Sep-Oct;17(5):32-6.

A proposed conceptual model for studying the use of complementary and alternative medicine.


A conceptual model has the ability to combine theories, illustrate relationships, and describe behaviors. We propose a conceptual model to describe the interrelated factors that dictate and influence complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use in the United States based on sociologic theories including Parson's Sick Role and Suchman's Stages of Illness as well as the Andersen Sociobehavioral Model of health services utilization. In our conceptual model, we distinguish CAM use by symptomatic vs asymptomatic individuals, practitioner-based CAM services from products and self-administered CAM therapies, and the two ultimate endpoints: either the conclusion of CAM treatment or continuous CAM treatment. The development of our model underscores the importance of classifying CAM therapies based on the decision process of the CAM consumer rather than mechanism of action or CAM belief system in studying CAM health services utilization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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