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P04.03. Primary care providers’ attitudes and beliefs about, and personal use of, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)

Purpose

To identify primary care providers’ (PCP) attitudes and beliefs about, and personal use of, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

Methods

PCPs who referred patients into a research study about asthma self-management, including CAM, completed three surveys. The modified Integrative Medicine Attitude Questionnaire (m-IMAQ) is a 23-item survey that solicits beliefs about CAM and its role in treatment. The 10-item CAM Health Belief Questionnaire (CHBQ) asks about CAM attitudes and beliefs not included in the m-IMAQ. Lastly, the 30-item Morehouse College Survey of CAM Practices (MCSCAMP) characterizes PCPs personal CAM use. All subjects received a $100 gift card for participation.

Results

Of the 21 referring PCPs, 14 physicians and two nurse practitioners (NPs) were enrolled. Seven were male (44%); 13 White (81%), two Asian (13%) and one Black (6%). The mean age in years of subjects was 45.7 and mean years in practice was 12.9; all but one was employed full-time. After reverse coding, higher m-IMAQ and CHBQ scores indicate more positive CAM orientation. All 16 providers (100%) endorsed m-IMAQ items: "The spiritual beliefs of patients play an important role in their recovery"; "A strong relationship between patients and their providers is an extremely valuable therapeutic intervention that leads to improved outcomes"; and "In research, measuring quality of life is equally as important as measuring disease-specific outcomes." Only one CHBQ item was endorsed by all: "A patient’s expectations, health beliefs and values should be integrated into the patient care process." The MCSCAMP found prayer/spiritual healing to be the most common CAM for providers’ personal use (50%), followed by massage and acupuncture (19%), music therapy, herbs and meditation (13%).

Conclusion

PCPs in this sample have a positive CAM orientation uniformly endorsing items related to spirituality, the importance of patient-provider partnerships and quality of life. There was low personal use of CAM other than prayer by providers.

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Correspondence to M George.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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George, M., Johnson, A., Pinilla, R. et al. P04.03. Primary care providers’ attitudes and beliefs about, and personal use of, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). BMC Complement Altern Med 12, P273 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-12-S1-P273

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Keywords

  • Asthma
  • Primary Care Provider
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Attitude Questionnaire
  • Gift Card