Do patients want complementary and alternative treatments and will they pay cash for them?


Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, March 27, 2017–While complementary, alternative, and integrative medicine treatments such as acupuncture and massage therapy are usually offered in outpatient settings, a new study has shown that the majority of hospitalized patients perceived such integrative services to be helpful. The study, which also examined whether patients would pay out of their own pockets for these services, is published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine website until April 28, 2017.

In the article entitled "Inpatients' Preferences, Beliefs, and Stated Willingness to Pay for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments," Lori Montross-Thomas, PhD and coauthors from University of California, San Diego (UCSD), UCSD Moores Cancer Center, UCSD Center for Integrative Medicine, and True Wellness Acupuncture, San Diego, CA identify the complementary and alternative services a group of adult patients perceived to be the most helpful. The authors also report on which integrative services the patients would agree to pay for and how the patients believed the treatments would benefit them.

The complementary services considered included acupuncture, aromatherapy, art therapy, guided imagery, healthy food, humor therapy, massage therapy, music therapy, pet therapy, Reiki, and stress management. For all therapies but one, a majority of patients considered the treatments helpful and across the board between 33-71% of patients expressed a willingness to pay cash.

"These findings should help all decision makers in value-based hospital systems that are seeking to enhance patient-experience and better understand costs and potential cost savings," says The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Editor-in-Chief John Weeks,, Seattle, WA.


About the Journal

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine is a monthly peer-reviewed journal published online with open access options and in print. Led by John Weeks (, the Co-founder and past Executive Director of the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health, the Journal provides observational, clinical, and scientific reports and commentary intended to help healthcare professionals, delivery organization leaders, and scientists evaluate and integrate therapies into patient care protocols and research strategies. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Alternative and Complementary Therapies, Medical Acupuncture, and Journal of Medicinal Food. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

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