Use of complementary therapies by registered psychologists: An international study

Peta Stapleton*, Hannah Chatwin, Emma Boucher, Sue Crebbin, Sandra Scott, Dean Smith, Gail Purkis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
316 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-196
Number of pages7
JournalProfessional Psychology: Research and Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


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