Empirical work supports the suggested relations in this model.
For example, a survey of over 1,000 consumers found that value congruency was predictive of service-brand commitment .
From this perspective CAM can be viewed as a particular “brand” of health care that the consumer chooses.
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The question of what keeps people using CAM over time and becoming committed to CAM as a health-care choice has not been adequately addressed by previous research.
There are cross-sectional studies that hint at the possible reasons for continued use , but they have not articulated what is meant by commitment to CAM, nor have they tested theoretical models derived from extant research.
Research on continued CAM use has been largely atheoretical and has not considered the broader range of psychological and behavioral factors that may be involved.
The purpose of this study was to test a new conceptual model of commitment to CAM use that implicates utilitarian (trust in CAM) and symbolic (perceived fit with CAM) in psychological and behavioral dimensions of CAM commitment. A series hierarchical regression analyses controlling for relevant demographic variables found that the utilitarian and symbolic values uniquely accounted for significant and substantial proportion of the variance in each of the three CAM commitment indicators ( The findings provide preliminary support for the new model that posits that CAM commitment is a multi-dimensional psychological state with behavioral indicators.
What is missing from these conceptualizations of CAM commitment is an acknowledgement of the cognitive and affective dimensions of patients’ experiences with CAM and how CAM use itself may motivate continued use.
This is especially important given the known links among beliefs, values, and continuing CAM use .
Researchers have however highlighted the need to take a more sophisticated view of CAM use by examining why some individuals might continue or discontinue their use of CAM.
Indeed, many individuals who initially try CAM may continue their use, integrating CAM into their health care repertoire.
As a dominant form of health care, conventional care is often the default form of health care for many people.
In contrast, CAM care involves making a conscious choice to seek care in addition to, but also sometimes in place of, conventional care, and with added costs.
In this respect, the repeated and continued use of CAM can be viewed as reflective of this ongoing conscious choice or to use CAM as a health-care choice across different health-care situations.