Preparing complementary and alternative practitioners to teach learners in conventional health professions.
ABSTRACT Federal funding is supporting complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) educational programming in health-professions schools in the United States. CAM practitioners from a wide range of disciplines are now being invited to participate as instructors or content experts in this effort. The challenge is to promote effective and consistent teaching methods around appropriate content. This article describes the development of a series of 4 workshops intended to enhance the teaching skills of 9 complementary medicine practitioners participating in an educational project at the University of North Carolina. Key issues addressed in the workshops included the interface between CAM and conventional medicine, a better understanding of the nature of conventional medical practice, styles and strategies in teaching complementary medicine, and building skills in accessing information from databases.
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ABSTRACT: Efforts to build a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) education and research infrastructure have been productive. Development has focused largely on graduate, postgraduate, and professional level training. This paper examines baccalaureate programs, looking at the prevalence and characteristics of CAM and holistic health training in the United States. A comprehensive literature and web site search was conducted to find educational institutions offering baccalaureate programs in CAM or holistic health. Search criteria included accredited undergraduate programs terminating in a minor, an AA, or a BA/BS degree. A search of health and education databases produced marginal results. Internet searches, by contrast, were very productive in locating CAM or holistic health-related programs generally and baccalaureate programs specifically. The most effective search strings included terms such as "holistic health," "minor," "certificate," and "undergraduate." Using these terms, 5 programs were found in the United States that met the inclusion criteria: Arizona State University East, Bastyr University, San Francisco State University, Metropolitan State College of Denver, and Georgian Court College. Preparing tomorrow's scholars and clinicians to contribute meaningfully to this emerging healthcare paradigm will require a plan that integrates all elements of higher education. The creation of a truly effective workforce of CAM-competent M.D.s, nurses, health educators, pharmacists, and other allied health professionals will increasingly necessitate baccalaureate preparation. Curriculum discussions at the campus, state, and national levels are needed.The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 01/2005; 10(6):1115-21. · 1.46 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) use among cancer patients is becoming more prevalent; however, our understanding of factors contributing to patients' decisions to participate in CAM is limited. This study examined correlates of CAM use among colorectal cancer (CRC) survivors, an understudied population that experiences many physical and psychological difficulties. The sample was 191, predominantly white, CRC survivors (mean age = 59.9 +/- 12.6) who were members of a colon disease registry at a NYC metropolitan hospital. Participants completed assessments of sociodemographic characteristics, psychosocial factors [e.g., psychological functioning, cancer specific distress, social support (SS), quality of life (QOL)], and past CAM use (e.g., chiropractic care, acupuncture, relaxation, hypnosis, and homeopathy). Seventy-five percent of participants reported using at least one type of CAM; most frequently reported was home remedies (37%). Younger (p < 0.01) or female patients (p < 0.01) were more likely to participate in CAM than their older male counterparts. Among psychosocial factors, poorer perceived SS (p = 0.00), more intrusive thoughts (p < 0.05), and poorer overall perceived QOL (p < 0.05) were associated to CAM use. In a linear regression model (including age, gender, SS, intrusive thoughts, and perceived QOL), only age remained a significant predictor of CAM use. These findings demonstrate that CAM use is prevalent among CRC survivors and should be assessed routinely by providers. CAMs may serve as a relevant adjunct to treatment among CRC patients as well as an indication of need for additional SS, especially among younger patients.Supportive Care Cancer 06/2007; 15(5):557-64. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study assessed the impact of acculturation on the prevalence of traditional Chinese medicine and other complementary and alternative medicine (TCM/CAM) use in newly diagnosed Chinese cancer patients. The individual determinants of TCM/CAM use among patients were also investigated. A consecutive sample of Chinese cancer patients treated at the British Columbia Cancer Agency was surveyed at admission using a 15-item questionnaire. Items included TCM/CAM use, sociodemographics, as well as medical and cultural factors. Data were analyzed using bivariate methods including Pearson's X (2) test and Student's t test. As well, multiple logistic regression was used to obtain the final causal model. Of the 230 respondents, 57% completed the survey in Chinese and 94% were immigrants. The average age was 59. Participants had a mean disease duration of approximately 2 months and 79% had already received at least one conventional treatment. Overall, TCM/CAM was used by 47% of respondents. Herbal remedies, vitamins/minerals, and prayer were the most commonly used therapies. Multivariable analysis showed that prior TCM/CAM use (p < 0.001), having received conventional treatment(s) (p = 0.029), and being less acculturated (p = 0.028) were associated with TCM/CAM use. Prevalence and type of use were found to vary as a function of the degree of acculturation. Health care practitioners would be well advised to discuss TCM/CAM use with their patients, especially those who are less acculturated to Western society, since they are the most likely users of TCM/CAM.Supportive Care Cancer 09/2007; 15(8):985-92. · 2.65 Impact Factor