Experience and attitudes towards CAM--a survey of internal and psychosomatic patients in a German university hospital

Huber, Roman; Koch, Dietmar; Beiser, Ines; Zschocke, Ina; Luedtke, Rainer (2004). Experience and attitudes towards CAM--a survey of internal and psychosomatic patients in a German university hospital. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 10(1), pp. 32-6. Eagan, Minn.: InnoVision Professional Media

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Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is popular in Germany. In a consecutive survey the experiences with CAM and the need for a CAM consultation among inpatients of the departments of cardiology (CL), gastroenterology (GE), oncology (OL) and psychosomatics (PS) of the University Hospital Freiburg (FUH) were questionned. Exclusion criteria were inability to understand the questions or a Karnofsky Index < 30%. Four hundred thirty-five patients were included. Three hundred and fifty patients, 100 each in the departments of CL, GE and OL, and 50 in PS answered the questionnaires. Eighty-five patients (20%) refused. Among the 350 patients 26% had previously visited a CAM physician and 19% had visited a CAM therapist (Heilpraktiker). Information about CAM was obtained mainly by television, radio and family members. Frequently used therapies for the current disease were physical training (21%), diet (19%), massage (19%), vitamins/trace elements (19%), herbs (13%), acupuncture (10%) and homeopathy (7%). The highest frequency of CAM use had PS patients, followed by GE, OL and CL patients. High effectivity (> or = 70%) for the current disease, rated on a scale of 4 degrees, had for CL patients physical exercise and massage, for GE patients herbal treatment and for OL patients diet. Physical exercise, diet, massage and herbal treatment generally had better ratings than homeopathy, acupuncture and vitamins. 65% would welcome a CAM center and 53% asked for a consultation about CAM at FUH. OL and GE patients had the strongest (58%), PS patients a lower (52%) and patients with cardiovascular diseases the lowest (43%) interest in a CAM consultation. Twenty-five percent believed, that CAM can help to cope better with their disease. Predictors for a positive attitude towards CAM were young age, aversion to chemical medications (Spearman correlation r = 0.22), desire to participate in therapeutic decisions (r = 0.29), motivation to change, if recommended, the life style (r = 0.31) and desire for a holistic treatment (r = 0.37).

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology

UniBE Contributor:

Baloch, M. Sarfraz




InnoVision Professional Media




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:24

Last Modified:

17 Mar 2015 22:52

PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/37921 (FactScience: 215226)

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