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Table 1 Key questions to ask for policymakers, in clinical settings and in risk research that incorporate patients’ use of CAM

From: “Then I went to a hospital abroad”: acknowledging implications of stakeholders’ differing risk understandings related to use of complementary and alternative medicine in European health care contexts

Settings Questions
Regulation - the policy-makers perspective • Which decision factors (like research, efficacy and patient safety elements) is the national regulation of CAM based on?
• How should scientific evidence on direct and indirect risk factors influence regulation of the specific CAM modality?
• Which provider training and treatment requirements will strengthen the safety for CAM users/patients?
• How may a planned regulation of CAM providers and treatments increase patient safety?
• How can more harmonized and integrated regulation of conventional medicine and CAM result in increased patient safety?
• How should we emphasize safety aspects of European regulation on CAM when deciding new CAM regulation on a national level?
• How will the considered regulation of CAM influence public supervision possibilities and patients’ claim and reimbursement rights?
Clinical settings– provider perspective • How does this CAM user understand risks associated with conventional treatment? Why?
• How does this CAM user understand risks associated with CAM/specific CAM treatments? Why?
• How do I myself as a health-care provider understand risk associated with CAM and conventional treatment?
• Do my risk understandings differ from those of the patient in front of me?
• How can I best communicate important risk information to this patient?
Clinical settings– patient perspective • How do I as a patient perceive my personal risk associated with the use of the CAM I want to use?
• How do I as a patient perceive my personal risk associated with the use of the recommended conventional treatment?
• How can I best communicate my interest in CAM to medical doctors and nurses in public health care?
• What does this doctor know about CAM?
• What training does this CAM provider have?
• What does this CAM provider know about medicine/conventional treatment?
• Where can I find trustworthy information about CAM treatments and CAM providers?
• Is the CAM treatment I want to use associated with any possible risks?
• Is the conventional treatment I use associated with any possible risks?
• Are there any known risks associated with the combination of the conventional and the CAM treatment I want to use?
• How can I deal with possible risks?
Risk research • Does the risk study we are planning include an understanding of risk as an objective or a subjective phenomenon?
• Have we actually defined the concept of risk in our study?
• Would another risk understanding/definition influence the study in terms of research questions, methodology, and interpretation of results?