Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Stephanie Felgoise, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Michelle Lent, PhD

Second Advisor

Susan Panichelli Mindel, PhD

Third Advisor

Patrick Boyle, PsyD


Despite limited research supporting its benefits, adults in the United States commonly use herbal forms of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) such as cannabidiol (CBD) for anxiety. Little is known about the treatment-related beliefs that may motivate their choice to use CAM. The present study used mixed methods to assess differences in CAM-related treatment beliefs in a sample of adults with generalized anxiety. For a cross-sectional online survey hosted via Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap), 180 adults were recruited. Generalized anxiety symptoms and severity were assessed using the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7 (GAD-7) screener. Beliefs about CAM were measured through the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Beliefs Inventory (CAMBI) and Holistic Complementary and Alternative Medicine Questionnaire (HCAMQ). An open-ended prompt and text box captured perceptions about perceived benefits and harms associated with CBD’s relationship to cannabis. Independent samples t-tests were conducted for groups of CBD and non-CBD users endorsing anxiety to compare mean scores on the HCAMQ and CAMBI subscales. CBD users endorsed higher ratings of anxiety severity (p < .001) and beliefs in natural treatment (p = .002). The results of this study suggested that CBD users may place greater importance on treatment-related beliefs about naturalness than non-users. Future evaluations of treatment-related beliefs in CBD users as well as traditional provider approaches to integrative models of care are needed to better understand how such beliefs impact use behaviors.

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Psychology Commons