Title

Use of complementary therapies by registered psychologists: An international study

Date of this Version

6-1-2015

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Citation only

Stapleton, P., Chatwin, H., Boucher, E., Crebbin, S., Scott, S., Smith, D., & Purkis, G. (2015). Use of complementary therapies by registered psychologists: An international study. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 46(3), 190-196.

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© Copyright 2015 American Psychological Association

2015 HERDC submission

ISSN

0735-7028

Abstract

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a category of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine. However, the use of CAM by lay people is increasing worldwide. This study investigated the utilization pattern of CAM among registered psychologists, and level of training in delivering a CAM service. Psychologists (N = 193) participated from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. Almost all (99.6%) respondents reported using at least 1 CAM service in the past, and 64.2% indicate they were trained to deliver at least 1 area of CAM. Users of CAM were more likely to be female. Registered psychologists from New Zealand held less positive attitudes toward CAM, less belief in the scientific validity of CAM, and less willingness to recommend CAM, in comparison to registered psychologists from other countries. Health beliefs and willingness to refer or recommend CAM significantly predicted attitudes to CAM, and gender together with attitudes toward CAM and level of training in CAM significantly predicted attitudes toward CAM. Finally, post hoc analyses indicated that highest level of education achieved as well as attitudes toward CAM significantly contributed to level of skill achieved by practitioners. The findings from this study may be used to inform future policy that aims to encourage CAM use and training among registered psychologists.

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This document has been peer reviewed.