Influence of worldview on health care choices among persons with chronic pain

Tina Buck, Carol M. Baldwin, Gary E. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: The aim of this research was to examine relationships between the Pepperian worldviews of people with chronic pain and the health care choices that they make. Design: A convenience sample survey was done. Setting: University Medical Center Pain Clinic, Tucson, Arizona. Subjects: Men and women patients (n = 96) with nonmalignant chronic pain. Outcome measures: World Hypothesis Scale; Health Care Choice List. Results: Findings indicate that the combination of age and formistic worldview are statistically significant predictors of conventional health care choices by participants in this study. Older patients and persons with a predominantly formistic worldview were less likely to use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as a choice among this sample with chronic nonmalignant pain. Borderline significant associations were noted between persons with formistic or mechanistic worldviews and conventional health care choices, and persons with contextualistic, organismic, or equal scores in two worldview categories and CAM health care choices. Although rates of CAM use did not significantly differ from conventional choices, the prevalence rate for CAM use was high (55.2%) based on national findings. Conclusions: Results of this study provide a link to understanding how underlying philosophies can contribute to the reasons people with chronic pain make health care decisions. Further exploration of worldviews might very well contribute to best practices for consumer health care by engaging in communication styles and belief systems consistent with consumers' personal schemas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-568
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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