Date of Defense
Ann Veeck, Marketing
Betty Parker, Marketing
George Tilton, L. Perrigo Company
Medical treatments that are not based on the conventional biological sciences are commonly termed alternative or complementary. Although alternative medical therapies such as acupuncture and herbal remedies are commonly used throughout the world, they are only recently becoming widely accepted in the United States. Alternative treatments have experienced periods of decline and renewal, but the recent interest that began in the 1970s has continued until today. Americans today spend an estimated $13.7 billion on unconventional treatments such as biofeedback, aromatherapy, and homeopathy. Alternative medicine has been rapidly expanding as consumers drive the demand for cost-effective, accessible and individualized healthcare. Although many marketing researchers have been examining the phenomenon, few have engaged in a qualitative study. Qualitative research on the decision criteria for choosing alternative health care practices will provide new conceptual insights and understanding generally ignored demographics, as well as highlight issues essential for health care planning and delivery.
Willard, David J., "A Qualitative Study of the Use of Alternative Versus Conventional Medicine in the U.S." (2000). Honors Theses. Paper 380.