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Explore (NY). 2008 May-Jun;4(3):178-86. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2008.02.001.

Integrating complementary and alternative medicine into conventional primary care: the patient perspective.

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  • 1CAM Education Project, Department of Family Medicine, The University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA.



The aim of this study was to explore perspectives on integrating complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into the conventional primary care setting among patients treated at a large academic family medicine clinic in Texas.


We developed and administered a multiple choice questionnaire to evaluate perspectives of 502 patients on integrating CAM into the conventional primary healthcare system. All collected data were statistically analyzed to evaluate responses.


Among study participants, 66% indicated that they had used CAM treatments during the past year, 77% responded that they would be interested in using CAM during the next year, and 55.4% replied that they would like CAM therapies to be provided in their primary care clinic.


The use of CAM in primary care settings in southern Texas is widespread. However, in this primary care setting, patients would like their family physician to provide and supervise these therapies.


Patients believe that there is an increased need for family physician involvement in providing and supervising CAM treatments. Our findings are preliminary but can provide a basis for multicenter, cross-cultural studies to further evaluate the patient perspective on the process of integrating CAM into the conventional primary healthcare system so that healthcare policy makers can better address public need.

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