The PUC-CAM-Q: A new questionnaire for delving into the use of complementary and alternative medicines

Anske Robinson, Janice Evelyn Chesters, Simon Kimberley Cooper, Matthew Richard McGrail

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: This paper reports on the design and testing of a new questionnaire, Perspectives on the Use in Communities of CAM (the PUC-CAM-Q [questionnaire]). Design: The questionnaire consisted of scales and questions for 27 concepts considered to affect complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) usage. Scales encompassed 13 beliefs about nature, scientific medicine, and the environment, as well as personal characteristics, such as stoicism and resilience. A matrix provided space for respondents to indicate their use, or likelihood of use, of 23 of the most commonly available CAM modalities. Also included were questions about the reasons for CAM use and sources of health information. Location: The questionnaire was mailed to a randomly selected sample of people in a pilot study of two metropolitan and five rural localities in Victoria, Australia. Results: The response rate was 40 (n = 459). The majority of the questionnaires were completed consistently, and the reliability and validity and questions were satisfactory. Seven (7) of the 13 scales that explored the beliefs and concerns about CAM use and the characteristics of the respondents had Cronbach alphas of above 0.7. Refinement of the other six scales resulted in alphas of between 0.6 and 0.7, with good corrected item-total correlations for included questions. Responses to the matrix question on the use, or likelihood of use, of individual CAM modalities were also good. However, some adjustments to the layout would provide more comprehensive information for future use of the PUC-CAM-Q. Conclusions: This questionnaire provided good data that were appropriate for the exploratory nature of this PUC-CAM study. After more attention to the scales, as well as some refinement of some nonscale questions, the PUC-CAM-Q would be a practical instrument for further studies on CAM use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207 - 216
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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