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July 2020

Gesundheitswesen. 1995 Jun; 57(6): 345-8.

[Medical students and alternative medicine--a survey]

Andritzky W.

Institut für Medizinische Psychologie, Universität Düsseldorf.

In the last decade, the growing interest and use of alternative healing methods among practitioners and patients has been documented in many empirical studies. The present inquiry of n = 140 undergraduate medical students at the University of Düsseldorf reveals a continually increasing knowledge of methods, self-experience as patients or lay persons, and an interest in learning one or more techniques. The highest interest in acquiring a working knowledge of a method is for acupuncture (55.7%), homoeopathy (42.1%), autogenous training (24.9%), and reflex-zonetherapies (11.4%). On a five-point-rating scale (3 = no effect) for estimated effectiveness, acupuncture, music therapy, autogenous training, massage, chiropractics (each 1.7) and homoeopathy (1.9) ranked high, whereas esoteric methods like laying-on-of-hands (3.3), hypnosis (2.5) and ozone and oxygen therapies (2.9) were low. The average score of 2.1 for all alternative methods indicates that they are generally considered more effective than not. A shift from a bio-medical "paradigm" towards psychosomatic and biopsychosocial thinking can be hypothesized, since (body-) psychotherapies (2.0) and body therapies (1.7) are rated highly effective.

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