Integrating Tai Chi Helps Doctors Improve Patient Satisfaction
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February 16, 2016 -
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is widely used by adults in the
USA. However, most physicians do not inquire about CAM use leading to missed
opportunities to dialogue about wellness and detect harmful practices.
In 2012, an integrative medicine (IM) consultation clinic alongside an optional
IM Residency Track for family medicine residents was established at the
University of California, Irvine Family Health Center in Santa Ana, CA. This
study evaluated the impact of these programs on physicians' CAM/IM knowledge and
Online surveys assessing self-reported attitudes, knowledge and practices were
distributed in 2012 (baseline) and 2014 (follow-up) to family physicians with
response rates of 83% (35/42) and 62% (23/37), respectively. At baseline, 91.5%
of physicians believed that patient satisfaction would moderately/strongly
increase if offered CAM/IM consultations and therapies. At follow- up, physician
understanding of clinical applications of massage, acupuncture,
meditation/relaxation, yoga and Tai Chi increased. Percentage of physician
referrals to a CAM/IM consultation clinic increased as well as
physician-initiated CAM/IM discussion.
This study demonstrates the immediate effect of IM education in a primary care
training site and the receptiveness of its community-based physicians towards