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Table 8 Examples of wellness-related questions deleted or modified based on cognitive review, focus groups and other input, 2012

From: Development of the adult and child complementary medicine questionnaires fielded on the National Health Interview Survey

Question (s) Outcome Rationale
Help you relax Combined into “help to reduce your stress level or to relax” Testing found the questions to be redundant
Help to reduce your stress level
To cleanse/detoxify your body Deleted Respondents offered a wide variety of interpretations and meaning varied tremendously from person to person. Some considered it to be referring to “a cleanse” in the very literal sense, such as a colon cleanse. One respondent provided the example of the cayenne pepper and maple syrup diet. Others thought it referred to the period after an addict stops using drugs or alcohol and attempts to purge the body of these substances. For still others this was interpreted to be more symbolic, as in the case of a “mental or emotional cleans”’ as one respondent put it [63].
Because the practitioner spends more time with you than medical doctors Deleted Several respondents explained that they pay for the time with the practitioner. As one respondent put it after hearing this question, “Well, yeah, [because] I paid for 20 minutes.” Another respondent similarly explained that you “pay for the time” with the practitioner and so “of course you get more time with them” (he was thinking specifically about massage practitioners) [63].
Because the practitioner treats the whole person and not just one part because it focuses on the whole person and not just one part Combined/Modified to “it focuses on the whole person, mind, body, and spirit” The question did not work well when focused on “the practitioner,” especially for massage. Several noted that they actually want their masseuse to focus on only one part of, for example, their backs, and not their entire bodies. Also, the phrase “mind, body, and spirit” resonated with respondents’ experiences with complementary therapies [63].
Because I can participate in decisions about my health with my practitioner Deleted The question had varying interpretations and varied widely based on the type of practitioner being seen. Respondents using “hands-on” treatments such as massage said they can tell their practitioners where to focus and which parts of their bodies need more attention. Others thought it meant “sitting down with my doctor, presenting the symptoms and then working together to come up with a solution. [63]”
To stay healthy Deleted A number of respondents commented that this either seemed “too broad” or ‘too obvious.” As one respondent put it, “You go to a doctor to stay healthy. It’s too obvious.” Another asked, “What’s healthy? That’s too general.” [63]
Thinking about seeing a practitioner for [modality], please tell me if any of these statements are true for you. Using [modality] has… Modified to accommodate proxy reporting and include items salient to children Question stem and individual items modified to ask parent proxy whether he/she “thinks” these items applied to his/her child, and items thought to be unknown by parent were dropped. Also, the items on alcohol and smoking were not asked for children. Attendance at school was added.
Given you a sense of control over your health?
Helped you to relax?
Helped you to reduce your stress level?
Motivated you to eat healthier?
Motivated you to eat more organic foods?
[for respondents who report drinking alcohol in core]
Motivated you to cut back or stop drinking alcohol?
[for respondents who report smoking in core]
Motivated you to cut back or stop smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes?
Motivated you to exercise more regularly?
Improved your overall health and made you feel better?
Given you more hope for the future?
Increased your ability to focus?
Made you feel better emotionally?
Made it easier to cope with health problems?
Improved your outlook on life?
Improved your relationships with others?
Improved your self-confidence?
During the past 12 months, did you see a practitioner for [modality] for any of these reasons? Modified to accommodate proxy reporting and include items salient to children Question stem and individual items modified so that parent proxy could answer about his/her child, and items thought to be unknown by parents were dropped. Item on sexual performance not asked for children.
To stay healthy
To improve your energy
To Improve your immune function
To improve your physical ability
To improve your athletic or sports
To improve your sexual performance
To improve your concentration
To improve your memory
To improve your flexibility
To improve your muscle strength