> I'm trying to set up a search to find statistics (preferable) or other
> research that demonstrates whether the general public differentiates
> alternative medicine from western medicine when they're looking for health
> information.
> In other words, do consumers specifically look for alternative medicine
> threapies, or are they looking for 'health' information, and the
> alternative/complementary/herbal information is just part and parcel of what
> they're looking for?
> My suspicion is that consumers look for therapies or cures, and don't
> specifically say "I want Western or conventional medicine only" or "I want
> unconventional or alternative medicine".

Just a quick reply.  If I get time, I'll try to cogitate on search
strategies unless someone beats me to it.

This is purely anecdotal.  My experience is that yes, consumers are aware
that there are alternative practices which are not necessarily used in
allopathic practice.  And yes, they DO ask for alternatives.  However, I
have no way of knowing if there are consumers who just ask for any type of
therapy and are making no distinctions in their minds.  I just know that
some people do, and deliberately ask for information on alternatives.


Catherine L. Wolfson                        Health Sciences Library
Information Services Librarian              University of Arizona
[log in to unmask]                   1501 N. Campbell Ave.
Tel:  520-626-2927                          P.O. Box 245079
Fax:  520-626-2922                          Tucson, AZ  85724-5079