Table 1

Descriptions of original data sets

Study Title and CAM therapies involved

Study sample





Patient perspectives on homeopathic treatment [13]

42 classical homeopathic patients

(31 women, 11 men ages 22-73)

Wide range of homeopathic clinics

To describe the lived experience and outcomes of successful homeopathic treatment

In-depth individual patient interviews (47 interviews)


Forgoing conventional treatment and using (a wide variety of) complementary therapies by men with prostate cancer [18]

29 men with prostate cancer (aged 50-82) who forgo all conventional treatment in favor of alternative treatment

No specific setting: eligible men responded to recruitment posters

To examine which factors influence men with prostate cancer to decline all conventional cancer treatment, and learn about their experiences.

27 in-depth qualitative interviews with 11 individuals.


The impact of Healing Touch on headache [35]

13 headache patients (10 women, 3 men; ages 25-61) who received energy medicine treatment

Specialty pain clinic @ group model HMO

To document the range of complex, multi-dimensional outcomes possible with CAM therapies; to identify concepts and language that capture an individual's explanatory model of healing

In-depth individual patient interviews (29 interviews)


Alternative medicine (naturopathy and TCM) approaches for women with temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD) [34]

16 women (ages 25-55) with temporomandibular dysfunction and several other health

disorders (10% sample from study n = 150)

Specialty TMD clinic @ group model HMO

Explore experiences with treatments and practitioners; discuss

outcomes of treatment

Individual interviews with a subset of participants in a Phase II RCT (16 interviews)


Supporting the transformative process: experiences of cancer patients receiving integrative care [14]

11 cancer and HIV/AIDS patients (5 men and 6 women, aged 35-70) seeking integrative care

Integrative clinics in Vancouver BC

To describe essential features of the transformative experience among people living with cancer who seek integrative care; to identify factors supporting this process

In-depth individual patient interviews (16 interviews)


Experiences of CVD patients encountering (a wide variety of) CAM therapies [36]

26 participants (14 male, 12 female; ages 43-80) with cardiovascular disease

Newspaper ads and flyers looking for CVD patients who had experienced CAM therapies

Explore patients' experiences of CAM therapies in relation to their experiences with heart disease

A total of 15 open-ended interviews were completed (12 individual; 3 group)

Ritenbaugh et al. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2011 11:135   doi:10.1186/1472-6882-11-135

Open Data