National Health Service healthcare staff experience and practices regarding complementary and alternative medicine: an online survey.
Stewart, Derek C.
Leslie, Stephen J.
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JONES, J., RAYNER, S., LOGUE, S., IMRAY, E., STEWART, D. and LESLIE, S.J. 2017. National Health Service healthcare staff experience and practices regarding complementary and alternative medicine: an online survey. International journal of complementary and alternative medicine [online], 5(4), article ID 00159. Available from: https://doi.org/10.15406/ijcam.2017.05.00159.
The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing. The most common reported reason for CAM use is dissatisfaction with conventional healthcare. Several studies have reported factors influencing CAM usage and beliefs in the general public but the beliefs of healthcare staff are less well known. This paper reports the results of an online survey of 537 healthcare staff. Our study demonstrated an increased rate of patient referral for CAM from both personal CAM users and those trained in CAM. There was a high level of optimism amongst respondents as to the role CAM may play in patient care with mental health, depression and palliative care cited as the areas with highest expected benefit. Doctors were generally less optimistic about the likelihood of benefit compared to other healthcare staff. Implications for clinical practice, future research and staff education are discussed.