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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 receptiveness.

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 these changes.


 
 

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