Bridging the physician and CAM practitioner communication gap: Suggested framework for communication between physicians and CAM practitioners based on a cross professional survey from Israel

Elad Schiff, Moshe Frenkel, Margalit Shilo, Moti Levy, Leora Schachter, Yuval Freifeld, Irena Steinfeld, Victoria Maizes, Eran Ben-Arye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Our study aimed to develop a framework to improve communication between physicians and CAM practitioners regarding mutual patients. Methods: Following a modified Delphi process, we developed preliminary recommendations regarding communication between physicians and CAM practitioners. We then surveyed 473 physicians and 781 CAM practitioners regarding their opinions on these recommendations. Results: High reliability and validity of the survey were found among the physicians and CAM practitioners (Cronbach's alpha score of .94 and .83, respectively). Physicians and CAM practitioners considered communication regarding mutual patients important (80% and 97%, respectively; P< .001). A medical/referral letter was the preferred communication mode. Physicians and CAM practitioners concurred on four elements that should be included in such a referral letter: conventional-CAM diagnosis with coherent terminology, possible conventional-CAM treatment interactions, description of the treatment plan and its goals, and quality issues regarding CAM supplements. Conclusions: A practical framework for advancing physician-CAM practitioner communication is feasible, and may be applied in daily medical care with the goal of bridging the patient-physician-CAM practitioner communication gap. Practice implications: Communication between physicians and CAM practitioners regarding mutual patients is important. Establishing a framework for the mode and content of such communication is feasible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-193
Number of pages6
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume85
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2011

Keywords

  • Alternative medicine
  • CAM practitioners
  • Complementary medicine
  • Doctor-patient communication
  • Integrative medicine
  • Physicians

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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