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Open Access Correspondence

Development of the adult and child complementary medicine questionnaires fielded on the National Health Interview Survey

Barbara J Stussman1*, Christina D Bethell2, Caroline Gray3 and Richard L Nahin1

Author Affiliations

1 National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA

2 School of Medicine, Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, Oregon Health & Sciences University, Portland, OR, USA

3 Palo Alto Medical Center, Health Policy Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA, USA

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:328  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-328

Published: 23 November 2013

Abstract

The 2002, 2007, and 2012 complementary medicine questionnaires fielded on the National Health Interview Survey provide the most comprehensive data on complementary medicine available for the United States. They filled the void for large-scale, nationally representative, publicly available datasets on the out-of-pocket costs, prevalence, and reasons for use of complementary medicine in the U.S. Despite their wide use, this is the first article describing the multi-faceted and largely qualitative processes undertaken to develop the surveys. We hope this in-depth description enables policy makers and researchers to better judge the content validity and utility of the questionnaires and their resultant publications.

Keywords:
Complementary therapies; Complementary medicine; Questionnaire development; Cognitive interviewing; National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)