Citizens’ needs and attitudes towards CAM



Nina Nissen, Helle Johannessen, Susanne Schunder-Tatzber, Antoine Lazarus, Wolfgang Weidenhammer

Publication Identity

CAMbrella - European Research Programm


This report describes the work and findings of Work Package 3 (WP3) of CAMbrella, a pan- European research network for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The aim of WP3 was to collect information on citizens’ attitudes and needs in EU member states and selected associated countries.

Two main complementary methods were used to achieve this aim: a workshop with stakeholders knowledgeable about citizens’ attitudes and needs concerning CAM, and a review of literature.

A purposeful sample of stakeholders was invited for a workshop. The workshop aimed to identify how to explore citizens’ attitudes and needs concerning CAM; facilitate the sharing of relevant information; and help to identify how citizens’ attitudes and needs concerning CAM can be measured and compared across the many EU countries. The participants emphasised the interrelationship between citizens’ attitudes to CAM and their needs, and identified key issues relating to citizens’ needs. The outcomes of the workshop provided the basis for developing indicators for citizens’ needs concerning CAM and informed the subsequent review of literature which explores citizens’ attitudes and needs regarding CAM.

For the review of literature of citizens’ attitudes and needs concerning CAM, WP3 developed a comprehensive literature search strategy. The resulting searches of international academic databases identified 189 articles which constitute the basis for the findings presented in this report. The geographical distribution of articles highlights a dominance of UK based articles (78 articles), a range of countries with between 9 and 30 articles per country, and a significant number of countries where the literature searches provided few or no articles.

This means that in this report not all the EU countries could be explored in equal depth and some countries are not covered at all. A majority of identified articles examines citizens’ attitudes and needs as part of other research interests in the field of CAM, and only few address research questions of direct relevance to the focus of WP3. This highlights that citizens’ attitudes and needs concerning CAM constitute a considerably under-studied area of research.