Predicting psychologists’ intentions to integrate complementary and alternative therapies into their practice
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Drawing on an extended Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) framework, we employed a cross-sectional designed study to investigate psychologists' intentions to integrate complementary and alternative therapies (CAT) into their practice via recommending CAT to clients or referring clients to CAT practitioners. Participants were registered practicing psychologists from a range of therapeutic orientations (e.g., narrative, cognitive behavioural, psychodymanic). The psychologists were either recruited by phone, following a search of the internet, or were contacted through their place of employment (hospitals, university counselling service). Those who agreed to participate (N = 122; n = 88 females, n = 34 males) completed a questionnaire which included standard TPB items of attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control, along with items measuring perceived risk, past behaviour, CAT knowledge, and gender. The outcome variables of interest were (1) intention to recommend CAT to clients and (2) intention to refer clients to CAT practitioners. Structural equation modelling revealed that the extended model was a good fit, explaining 69% (recommending CAT) and 51% (referring to CAT practitioners) of the variance in intentions. For both behaviours, direct paths from attitude and subjective norms to intentions were observed, with perceived risk and past behaviour influencing the TPB predictors of attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control. The findings illustrate the role cognitive and risk factors have on psychologists' decisions to integrate CAT into their practice. Understanding psychologists' cognitions and decisions about CAT integration forms an important basis on which to consider future changes in policy or practice.
© 2013 The Australian Psychological Society. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Predicting psychologists’ intentions to integrate complementary and alternative therapies into their practice, Australian Psychologist, Volume 48, Issue 2, pages 149–158, 2013, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-9544.2011.00058.x.
Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology