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Integration of complementary and alternative medicine into family practices in Germany: results of a national survey.

Joos S, Musselmann B, Szecsenyi J - Evid Based Complement Alternat Med (2010)

Bottom Line: Chirotherapy, relaxation and neural therapy were rated as most beneficial CAM therapies by FPs, whereas neural therapy, phytotherapy and acupuncture were the most commonly used therapies in German family practices.Therefore, education and research about CAM should be increased.Furthermore, with the provision of CAM by FPs, the role of non-medical CAM practitioners within the German healthcare system is to be questioned.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of General Practice and Health Services Research, University Hospital Heidelberg, Voßstrasse 2, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany.

ABSTRACT
More than two-thirds of patients in Germany use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) provided either by physicians or non-medical practitioners ("Heilpraktiker"). There is little information about the number of family physicians (FPs) providing CAM. Given the widespread public interest in the use of CAM, this study aimed to ascertain the use of and attitude toward CAM among FPs in Germany. A postal questionnaire developed based on qualitatively derived data was sent to 3000 randomly selected FPs in Germany. A reminder letter including a postcard (containing a single question about CAM use in practice and reasons for non-particpation in the survey) was sent to all FPs who had not returned the questionnaire. Of the 3000 FPs, 1027 (34%) returned the questionnaire and 444 (15%) returned the postcard. Altogether, 886 of the 1471 responding FPs (60%) reported using CAM in their practice. A positive attitude toward CAM was indicated by 503 FPs (55%), a rather negative attitude by 127 FPs (14%). Chirotherapy, relaxation and neural therapy were rated as most beneficial CAM therapies by FPs, whereas neural therapy, phytotherapy and acupuncture were the most commonly used therapies in German family practices. This survey clearly demonstrates that CAM is highly valued by many FPs and is already making a substantial contribution to first-contact primary care in Germany. Therefore, education and research about CAM should be increased. Furthermore, with the provision of CAM by FPs, the role of non-medical CAM practitioners within the German healthcare system is to be questioned.

No MeSH data available.


Flow chart.
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fig1: Flow chart.

Mentions: The presented study was designed as a cross-sectional survey with a nationwide random sample of FPs (included were “Fachärzte für Allgemeinmedizin” and “praktische Ärzte”). Addresses were obtained from the databases of the Regional Associations of SHI-Accredited Physicians. Physicians were invited by letter, which was spiced up with a tea bag for relaxation (provided by the Ostfriesische Tee Gesellschaft/Laurens Spethmann GmbH & Co, Seevetal, Germany). In March 2007, questionnaires were sent to 3000 randomly selected FPs (Figure 1). A reminder letter, including the questionnaire once more was sent to non-responders 2 weeks later. A postcard was attached to the reminder letter, which included the following questions: “Do you provide CAM in your practice?” (yes/no) and “Why do you refuse to complete the questionnaire?” (no time/do not practice as a FP/in principle not taking part in surveys/miscellaneous). FPs were asked either to complete the questionnaire or at least to send back the postcard.


Integration of complementary and alternative medicine into family practices in Germany: results of a national survey.

Joos S, Musselmann B, Szecsenyi J - Evid Based Complement Alternat Med (2010)

Flow chart.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3140199&req=5

fig1: Flow chart.
Mentions: The presented study was designed as a cross-sectional survey with a nationwide random sample of FPs (included were “Fachärzte für Allgemeinmedizin” and “praktische Ärzte”). Addresses were obtained from the databases of the Regional Associations of SHI-Accredited Physicians. Physicians were invited by letter, which was spiced up with a tea bag for relaxation (provided by the Ostfriesische Tee Gesellschaft/Laurens Spethmann GmbH & Co, Seevetal, Germany). In March 2007, questionnaires were sent to 3000 randomly selected FPs (Figure 1). A reminder letter, including the questionnaire once more was sent to non-responders 2 weeks later. A postcard was attached to the reminder letter, which included the following questions: “Do you provide CAM in your practice?” (yes/no) and “Why do you refuse to complete the questionnaire?” (no time/do not practice as a FP/in principle not taking part in surveys/miscellaneous). FPs were asked either to complete the questionnaire or at least to send back the postcard.

Bottom Line: Chirotherapy, relaxation and neural therapy were rated as most beneficial CAM therapies by FPs, whereas neural therapy, phytotherapy and acupuncture were the most commonly used therapies in German family practices.Therefore, education and research about CAM should be increased.Furthermore, with the provision of CAM by FPs, the role of non-medical CAM practitioners within the German healthcare system is to be questioned.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of General Practice and Health Services Research, University Hospital Heidelberg, Voßstrasse 2, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany.

ABSTRACT
More than two-thirds of patients in Germany use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) provided either by physicians or non-medical practitioners ("Heilpraktiker"). There is little information about the number of family physicians (FPs) providing CAM. Given the widespread public interest in the use of CAM, this study aimed to ascertain the use of and attitude toward CAM among FPs in Germany. A postal questionnaire developed based on qualitatively derived data was sent to 3000 randomly selected FPs in Germany. A reminder letter including a postcard (containing a single question about CAM use in practice and reasons for non-particpation in the survey) was sent to all FPs who had not returned the questionnaire. Of the 3000 FPs, 1027 (34%) returned the questionnaire and 444 (15%) returned the postcard. Altogether, 886 of the 1471 responding FPs (60%) reported using CAM in their practice. A positive attitude toward CAM was indicated by 503 FPs (55%), a rather negative attitude by 127 FPs (14%). Chirotherapy, relaxation and neural therapy were rated as most beneficial CAM therapies by FPs, whereas neural therapy, phytotherapy and acupuncture were the most commonly used therapies in German family practices. This survey clearly demonstrates that CAM is highly valued by many FPs and is already making a substantial contribution to first-contact primary care in Germany. Therefore, education and research about CAM should be increased. Furthermore, with the provision of CAM by FPs, the role of non-medical CAM practitioners within the German healthcare system is to be questioned.

No MeSH data available.