Pilot Validation of a Self-Report Outcome Measure of Complementary and Alternative Medicine

David T. Eton, Leslie Mendoza Temple, Karen Koffler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: We previously developed a multidomain, self-report outcome measure relevant to a wide range of complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies. We report the results of a pilot study to validate the measure. Methods: Fifty-two patients (60% female, mean age, 53 years) seeking services from CAM providers completed a battery of measures prior to a scheduled visit. The battery included the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, items from the Brief Pain and Fatigue Inventories, ratings of global quality of life (QOL) and change in physical health, and our pilot measure consisting of six hypothesized subscales (pain, fatigue, physical/functional ability, personal control, existential issues, and general QOL). Internal reliability, item convergence and discrimination, construct, and concurrent validity were assessed. Results: Pilot measure domains appeared to be internally reliable with five of six alpha coefficients exceeding 0.70. Multitrait scaling analyses demonstrated that most items converged on the domains that they were hypothesized to represent, although item discrimination was demonstrated for the pain domain only. Correlations with standardized assessments of pain, fatigue, and global QOL showed evidence of construct validity. All domain scores differentiated patients classified high versus low in global QOL (P < .01) and four (pain, fatigue, physical/functional ability, and general QOL) differentiated patients who perceived recent changes in their physical health (improvement vs decline; P < .05). Conclusion: These results provide preliminary psychometric data for a pilot measure of CAM outcomes, though further testing is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)592-599
Number of pages8
JournalExplore: The Journal of Science and Healing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analysis
  • General Nursing
  • Chiropractics
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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