Perspectives of Indian traditional and allopathic professionals on religion/spirituality and its role in medicine: basis for developing an integrative medicine program.
Allopathic medical professionals in developed nations have started to collaborate with traditional, complementary, and alternative medicine (TCAM) to enquire on the role of religion/spirituality (r/s) in patient care. There is scant evidence of such movement in the Indian medical community. We aim to understand the perspectives of Indian TCAM and allopathic professionals on the influence of r/s in health. Using RSMPP (Religion, Spirituality and Medicine, Physician Perspectives) questionnaire, a cross-sectional survey was conducted at seven (five TCAM and two allopathic) pre-selected tertiary care medical institutes in India. Findings of TCAM and allopathic groups were compared. Majority in both groups (75% of TCAM and 84.6% of allopathic practitioners) believed that patients' spiritual focus increases with illness. Up to 58% of TCAM and allopathic respondents report patients receiving support from their religious communities; 87% of TCAM and 73% of allopaths believed spiritual healing to be beneficial and complementary to allopathic medical care. Only 11% of allopaths, as against 40% of TCAM, had reportedly received 'formal' training in r/s. Both TCAM (81.8%) and allopathic (63.7%) professionals agree that spirituality as an academic subject merits inclusion in health education programs (p = 0.0003). Inclusion of spirituality in the health care system is a need for Indian medical professionals as well as their patients, and it could form the basis for integrating TCAM and allopathic medical systems in India.
Ramakrishnan, P; Dias, A; Rane, A; Shukla, A; Lakshmi, S; Ansari, BKM; Ramaswamy, RS; Reddy, AR; Tribulato, A; Agarwal, AK; Bhat, J; SatyaPrasad, N; Mushtaq, A; Rao, PH; Murthy, P; Koenig, HG
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