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Complement Ther Med. 2008 Aug;16(4):212-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2007.09.001. Epub 2007 Nov 26.

Familiarity breeds discontent: senior hospital doctors' attitudes towards complementary/alternative medicine.

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Department of Behavioural Sciences, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel.


Studies have shown that many general medical practitioners refer their patients to complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners and believe in the therapeutic benefit of these modalities. However, there is less information concerning the beliefs and practices of senior hospital doctors.


In view of the increasing institutionalization of CAM and moves to incorporate CAM into secondary and tertiary healthcare settings, the objective of this study is to understand the attitudes and practices of senior hospital doctors, a sector whose members are often responsible for formulating and implementing institutional policy.


A questionnaire was administered to 294 directors of hospital departments and their deputies on their attitudes and practices concerning CAM. Response rate was 70%. Almost all general hospitals in Israel participated in the study.


The findings show, in general, that while senior hospital physicians in Israel hold positive attitudes towards CAM, they are not well disposed towards co-operation with CAM practitioners. Incorporating a CAM clinic into the hospital site does not seem to enhance clinical co-operation between conventional physicians and CAM practitioners. In hospitals that had functioning CAM clinics, doctors were consistently and significantly more opposed to co-operation with CAM than in hospitals without CAM clinics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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