Use of Alternative and Complementary Medicine by Old Italians Adults: The Determinant of Choice


Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term for medical products and practices that aren’t part of standard care. Although using complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) is becoming increasingly prevalent in Italy, research in complementary and alternative therapy in older adults is limited. This study investigates the predictors and the determinant of choice of using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in older adult consumers [1]-[3]. The sample consisted of 150 Italian older consumers who used alternative medicine in the last year. The older adults interviewed were 52 males (34.7%) and 98 females (65.3%) and the average age was 65.4 (SD = 0.76). The results of this study showed a strong dissatisfaction of respondents with the tra-ditional medical treatments because the alternative’s medicine treatments are considered more invasive.

Share and Cite:

Platania, S. and Santisi, G. (2015) Use of Alternative and Complementary Medicine by Old Italians Adults: The Determinant of Choice. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 3, 293-299. doi: 10.4236/jss.2015.37042.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Foster, D.F., Phillips, R.S., Hamel, M.B. and Eisenberg, D.M. (2000) Alternative Medicine Use in Older Americans. Journal of American Geriatric Society, 48, 1560-1565.
[2] Grzywacz, J.G., Suerken, C.K., Quandt, S.A., Bell, R.A., Lang, W. and Arcury, T.A. (2006) Older Adults’ Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Mental Health: Findings from the 2002 National Health Interview Survey. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 12, 467-473.
[3] Gillespie, L.D., Robertson, M., Gillespie, W.J., Sherrington, C., Gates, S., Clemson, L.M. and Lamb, S.E. (2012) Interventions for Preventing Falls in Older People Living in the Community. The Cochrane Collaboration. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Hoboken.
[4] Siri, G. (2001) La psiche del consumo [The Psyche of the Consumer]. Franco Angeli, Milano.
[5] Siri, G. (2004) Psicologia del consumatore. Consumi e costruzione del significato [Consumer Psychology. Consumption and Construction of Meaning]. Mc Graw Hill, Milano.
[6] Siri, G. and Rutelli, P. (2004) Consumi e personalità [Consumption and the Personality]. In: Siri, G. (a cura di), Ed., Psicologia del consumatore, Consumi e costruzione del significato [Consumer Psychology. Consumption and Construction of Meaning], McGraw-Hill, Milano, 99-127.
[7] Marcellini, F., Gagliardi, C., Leonardi, F. and Spazzafumo, L. (1999) Mobilità e qualità della vita degli anziani [Mobility and Quality of Life of Older People]. Franco Angeli, Milano.
[8] Breveglieri, L. and Mauri, L. (1996) Vivere l’età anziana [Live Old Age]. Franco Angeli, Milano.
[9] Poles, B. (2010) Help the ageing! Anziani nuovi stili di vita e consumo [Help the Aging! Older New Lifestyles and Consumption]. Panorama per i giovani, 2, 18-21.
[10] Cheung, C.K., Wyman, J.F. and Halcon, L.L. (2007) Use of Complementary and Alternative Therapies in Community-Dwelling Older Adults. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 13, 997-1006.
[11] Schnabel, K., Binting, S., Witt, C.M. and Teut, M. (2014) Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine by Older Adults—A Cross-Sectional Survey. BMC Geriatrics, 14, 38.
[12] Orzech, D. (2007) Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Older Adults. Social Work Today, 7, 38.
[13] Behrman, G. and Tebb, S. (2009) The Use of Complementary and Alternative Interventions as a Holistic Approach with Older Adults. Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought, 28, 127-140.
[14] Mackenzie, E.R. and Rakel, B. (2006) Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Older Adults: A Guide to Holistic Approaches to Healthy Aging. Springer, New York.
[15] Bagozzi, R.P., Bergami, M. and Leone, L. (2003) Hierarchical Representation of Motives in Goal-Setting. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 915-943.
[16] Bagozzi, R.P. and Edwards, J.R. (1998) A General Approach for Representing Constructs in Organizational Research. Organizational Research Methods, 1, 45-87.
[17] Smith, E.E., Patalano, A.L. and Jonides, J. (1998) Alternative Strategies of Categorization. Cognition, 65, 167-196.
[18] Bagozzi, R.P., Sekerka, L.E. and Hill, V. (2009) Hierarchical Motive Structures and Their Role in Moral Choices of Managers. Journal of Business Ethics, 90, 461-486.
[19] Bagozzi, R.P. (1999) Atteggiamenti intenzioni e comportamento: L’analisi e la previsione dell’agire individuale in ambito psico-sociale ed economico [Attitude Intentions and Behavior: The Analysis and Prediction of Individual Action in the Field of Psycho-Social and Economic]. Franco Angeli, Milano.
[20] Bagozzi, R.P., Gurhan-Canli, Z. and Priester, J.R. (2002) The Social Psychology of Consumer Behavior. Open University, Milton Keynes.
[21] Osgood, C.E. (1957) A Behavioristic Analysis of Perception and Language as a Cognitive Phenomena. In: Bruner, J.S., et al., Eds., Contemporary Approach to Cognition, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 75-118.
[22] Bergami, M. and Bagozzi, R.P. (2000) Self-Categorization and Affective Commitment and Group Self-Esteem as Distinct Aspects of Social Identity in the Organization. British Journal of Social Psychology, 39, 555-577.
[23] Fabris, G. (2003) Il nuovo consumatore verso il postmoderno [The New Consumer to the Postmodern]. Franco Angeli, Milano.
[24] Platania, S., Santisi, G. and Hichy, Z. (2012) Determinants of Consumer Choice towards Luxury Brands: Differences between One-Brand Stores and Outlet-Stores Consumers. In: Gasiorowska, A. and Zaleskiewicz, T., Eds., Microcosm of Economic Psychology, Proceedings of the IAREP Conference Wroclaw 2012, Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Faculty in Wroclaw, Wroclaw, 332-339.
[25] Santisi, G., Platania, S. and Hichy, Z. (2014) A Lifestyle Analysis of Young Consumers: A Study in Italian Context. Young Consumers, 15, 94-104.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.