Date of Defense

Fall 12-8-2000



First Advisor

Ann Veeck, Marketing

Second Advisor

Betty Parker, Marketing

Third Advisor

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.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only