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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?