CAM providers' messages to conventional medicine: a qualitative study.
Between 30 and 50% of patients use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). There is little research on the interaction between CAM and conventional providers. We investigated what messages CAM practitioners would convey to conventional medicine (CM). Thirty-four CAM practitioners participated in audiotaped interviews. A coherent message was constructed from the identified themes. CAM practitioners see CAM supporting CM rather than replacing it. Blending of CAM with CM benefits patients and CM providers. CAM reintroduces the concept of healing that technology and time pressures have reduced. The basis of healing is connection, being present in the moment, and seeing patients as whole human beings. Research validating CAM effectiveness will foster integration, as will inclusion of CAM theory and practice in the medical curricula. The messages from CAM practitioners to CM coincide with current views of integrative medicine. Collaboration in research, education, and practice can foster a high-quality health care system.
Moura, VL; Warber, SL; James, SA
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