To no surprise to AAHF, as more and more consumers are embracing integrative medicine, so are practitioners. According to a recent survey by Jackson & Coker, a significant number of healthcare providers are using some form of integrative medicine to enhance their own health and well-being, or they have introduced certain facets of alternative medicine into their patient care.
The survey, entitled “Healthcare Providers’ Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine,” was sent during June to thousands of physicians and other health professionals throughout the United States, with nearly 300 individuals responding.
The survey queried respondents as to what heath measures they personally hope to achieve in using some form of CAM. The results were as follows:
- Stress relief 19.0%
- Improve general health 15.6%
- Pain management 13.3%
- Improve mental alertness 11.4%
- Weight reduction / control 9.3%
- Reduce hypertension 8.2%
- Overcome insomnia 7.8%
- Lower cholesterol 5.9%
- Control diabetes 3.5%
The survey pointed out, interestingly, that only a small number of doctors (15%) believe that as complementary and alternative medicine becomes more acceptable within the healthcare field, more insurers will provide approved reimbursement. Sixty-two percent felt it was either “not too likely” or “probably unlikely” that insurance coverage will substantially increase in the foreseeable future.
Most interestingly, the survey showed one of the areas that needs more focus – the education of integrative medicine by practitioners. The health practitioners surveyed learned about complementary and alternative medicine through various means: formal medical training (13%), seminars on holistic medicine (21%), and self-teaching or interaction with colleagues (25%). The types of alternative modalities, therapies, and treatments with which health providers were most familiar included: herbal medicine, massage therapy and reflexology, yoga and meditation, chiropractic treatment, biofeedback, and acupuncture. Other approaches with which they were less familiar included: hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, Tai Chi, and Ayurvetic medicine.
These findings are just one of the reasons why respected organizations that educate physicians and other health care professionals on the latest findings and emerging procedures in integrative medicine practitioners are so important. In fact, the Integrative Medical Consortium is a collaborative alliance of CAM associations is committed to advancing integrative medicine for the well-being of patients worldwide and includes American College for Advancement in Medicine, American Academy of Environmental Medicine, American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, American Holistic Medical Association, and International College of Integrative Medicine.
With three decades of experience, Jackson & Coker is a prominent physician-staffing firm headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia. For the full survey details, click here.