The perceived efficacy of alternative therapy in the treatment of psychological disorders

Olajide O Atolagbe, Tennessee State University


When individuals experience psychological disturbance, they seek treatment. The kind of treatment they get primarily comes from doctors who follow conventional practices. These doctors may recommend medications and/or various intensive psychotherapeutic procedures. However, some individuals with mental disorders, mainly the poor and chronically illness cannot afford the finest of conventional treatments. Fortunately, some other treatments are available for wellness. These are called alternative therapy. Alternative therapy involves the use of non-traditional treatment methods that are not yet supported by scientific research. Previously, alternative therapies have not been considered as part of the standard of clinical practice in the United States. Typically, alternative therapies use a holistic approach to illnesses, often emphasizing the mind-body connection. Increasingly, alternative therapies--including acupuncture, massage, yoga, nutrition, etc. During the past two decades, alternative therapies have been gaining greater mainstream among doctors, patients, and universities. Yet, there was no sufficient documentation to support the use of these approaches. Now there is a special need to gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of alternative therapies in the treatment of mental disorders. The investigator will look at the efficacy of alternative therapy in the treatment of psychological disorders. Undergraduate students were presented a list of symptoms of major depressive and alcoholic disorder, based on the DSM-IV-TR criteria. They will ask to rate the effectiveness of various alternative therapies for each condition using a Likert rating system. Demographic characteristics (age, sex, history of mental health treatment, and knowledge of alternative treatments, etc.) and locus of control were used as independent variables to predict the ratings. It was hypothesized that younger students, females, non-mental health students and knowledgeable will rate alternatives methods higher than older students, males, less knowledgeable students will. There were numerous limitations to this type of investigations (e.g., sample size, lack of validity and reliability for treatment effectiveness measures, etc.). People who have internal locus of control (LOC) tend to think that alternative treatments as effective.

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Recommended Citation

Olajide O Atolagbe, "The perceived efficacy of alternative therapy in the treatment of psychological disorders" (2007). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI1447785.