A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine assessed hospital inpatients’ preferences and beliefs regarding complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), as well as their willingness to pay for these services.
One hundred adult patients ranging in age from 19–95 years completed a brief interview to gather their perspectives on common CAM services, including acupuncture, aromatherapy, art therapy, guided imagery, healthy food, humor therapy, massage therapy, music therapy, pet therapy, Reiki, and stress management. The patients were asked which CAM therapies they perceived as being potentially the most helpful, their willingness to pay for those therapies, and their perceived beliefs regarding the use of those therapies.
According to the study, “inpatients most commonly perceived healthy food (85%), massage therapy (82%), and humor therapy (70%) to be the most helpful, and were most willing to pay for healthy food (71%), massage therapy (70%), and stress management (48%). Inpatients most commonly believed CAM treatments would provide relaxation (88%), increase well-being (86%), and increase their overall satisfaction with the hospitalization (85%).”
The findings suggest that CAM services may be a beneficial addition to hospitals, and “may help organizational leaders when making choices regarding the development of CAM services within hospitals.”