Reasons for choosing and complying with complementary health care: An in-house study on a South Australian clinic

Amanda D'crus, Jennifer Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the reasons why clients initially consult a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioner, the reasons that influence clients to seek treatment, and the factors that influence clients to be compliant with their treatment. Design: A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods were used. Quantitative data were obtained via a self-completion survey (n = 158). Qualitative information was derived from eight semistructured interviews. Setting: The study took place in a clinic in Norwood, South Australia. Participants were primarily residents of the eastern suburbs of Adelaide. Subjects: The study involved a convenience sample of clients. Results: Survey and interview results demonstrated that clients access CAM practitioners not solely for improvement of physical symptoms, with 54% of clients indicating a desire for counseling for general health issues and 50% wanting dietary and nutritional treatment. Of the subjects 36% sought increased self-insight and benefit from a wider perspective of healing. In addition 55% of respondents indicated that quality of relationship between CAM and client has a major impact on compliance and continuity of treatment, which in turn affects the overall success of the treatment. Conclusions: Clients in this clinic accessed complementary health care for a variety of reasons including gaining another perspective on their health. It suggests that CAM does not replace conventional medicine but may be used as an adjunct to conventional medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1107-1112
Number of pages6
JournalAlternative and Complementary Therapies
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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