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July 2020

Soc Sci Med. 1995 May; 40(10): 1425-32.

Health, just world beliefs and coping style preferences in patients of complementary and orthodox medicine.

Furnham A, Beard R.

Department of Psychology, University College London, England.

This study was designed to compare health and Just World Beliefs, coping style preferences and the mental health of a group of patients that utilize complementary medicine (CM), a group that exclusively use orthodox medicine (OM) and a mixed group who use both. Each participant filled out a questionnaire consisting of four sections: a measure of health beliefs which attributed certain factors to the state of their current health and to their capacity to become healthier in the future; a measure of the extent of their Belief in a Just World; a measure of coping style preference when faced with a threatening situation; and a measure of mental health. The results, co-varying out demographic factors, showed differences between the group yielded significant differences on the beliefs about future health, with the CM group scoring higher than the OM group. There were no differences in coping styles, Just World Beliefs or mental health between the three groups. The results were discussed in relation to explanations for differences in illness behaviour, specifically the reasons for choosing complementary therapies against orthodox therapies for the treatment of illness.

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