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Hamilton College

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Program Name

Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy


The demand for complementary, alternative, and traditional medicine, or CAM, has been a topic of debate in Western countries like Switzerland in the past decades due to the limited evidence-based research on its effectiveness. However, countries like Switzerland have been implementing CAM in their national health insurance as a response to the pressure of demand from the people. Thus, understanding the motivations for CAM use may help medical and government institutions address the shift towards a new way of managing health and disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the psychosocial factors involved in influencing the patients’ perception of CAM in Switzerland, as a reflection of the rise of CAM in Western society. The current literature reveals that for CAM users, psychosocial factors, such as culture and doctor-patient relationships, may be more important in determining CAM use and in influencing the perception of effectiveness of CAM than actual treatment outcomes. In addition, patients may prefer CAM as it seems to address psychological and social needs that conventional medicine in Western society does not.


Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Family, Life Course, and Society | International and Area Studies | Medicine and Health


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