Integrative medicine in hematology/oncology: benefits, ethical considerations, and controversies.
Integrative Medicine (IM), a newly emerging field, has evolved from Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). CAM refers to diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered part of conventional medicine and generally have limited scientific evidence. In the US, CAM is a multi-billion dollar, unregulated industry with potential benefits and risks to consumers, including cancer patients, who are high utilizers of complementary therapies. Patients' CAM use often is unsupervised by physicians, yet patients need the advice and guidance of their hematologists/oncologists as part of total cancer care. Ethical and legal issues physicians need to address include inquiring about and educating patients regarding potential interactions (e.g., drug-herb, radiation-antioxidant) or product contaminants, while discussing other therapies that may alleviate symptoms and/or improve quality of life. Administratively, CAM offerings in medical settings require relevant policies and procedures, such as properly credentialing practitioners and providing financial assistance counseling for those who cannot afford fee-for-service. Unlike "Alternative Medicine," the goal of IM is to combine mainstream medical therapies and CAM therapies (e.g., acupuncture, meditation, music therapy) that have some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness. The Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO), a new international organization of oncology professionals studying and integrating effective complementary therapies in cancer care, serves as a forum for presenting scientific data on these therapies while emphasizing the importance of developing infrastructure that promotes IM principles and practices. The ultimate goal is to develop multidisciplinary expertise and therapeutic synergy between conventional and complementary therapies. (+info)
Integrative medicine research at an academic medical center: patient characteristics and health-related quality-of-life outcomes.
Integrating self-help materials into mental health practice.
PROBLEM ADDRESSED: Patients' mental health issues have become an increasing focus of Canadian family physicians' practices. A self-help approach can help meet this demand, but there are few guidelines for professionals about how to use mental health self-help resources effectively. OBJECTIVE OF PROGRAM: To aid health professionals in integrating self-help materials into their mental health practices. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: A resource library of print, audiotape, and videotape self-help materials about common mental health issues was developed for a rural community. The materials were prescreened in order to ensure high quality, and health professionals were given training on how to integrate self-help into their practices. The library was actively used by both health professionals and community members, and most resources were borrowed, particularly the nonprint materials. Health professionals viewed the resources as a way to supplement their mental health practice and reduce demands on their time, as patients generally worked through the resources independently. Some improvements are planned for future implementations of the program, such as providing health professionals with a "prescription pad" of resources and implementing Stages of Change and stepped-care models to maximize the program's effectiveness. CONCLUSION: Although more evidence is needed regarding the effectiveness of self-help within a family practice context, this program offers a promising way for family physicians to address mild to moderate mental health problems. (+info)
How to measure quality of life in integrative oncology research.
Measuring the "whole system" outcomes of an educational innovation: experience from the integrative family medicine program.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Six family medicine residency programs in the United States collaborated on the development and implementation of an integrative family medicine (IFM) program, which is a postgraduate training model that combines family medicine residency training with an integrative medicine fellowship. This paper reports on effects of IFM on residency programs and clinical systems in which it was implemented. METHODS: We used the Integrative Medicine Attitudes Questionnaire (IMAQ) to assess participants' attitudes toward integrative medicine before and after the program was implemented. We assessed residency program recruitment success before and after the program was implemented. We conducted interviews with key informants at each program to evaluate the effects of the IFM on the six participating residency programs. RESULTS: IMAQ scores demonstrated a significant increase in the acceptance of integrative medicine after implementation of IFM. Recruiting data showed that participating programs filled at a rate consistently above the national average both before and after implementation. Analysis of interview data showed that programs became more open to an integrative medicine (IM) approach and offered a wider range of clinical services to patients. CONCLUSIONS: Our mixed-methods strategy for evaluation of IFM showed that implementing the program increased acceptance of IM, did not affect residency fill rates, and increased use of IM in clinical practice. The combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was an effective strategy for documenting the "systems level" effects of a new educational program. (+info)
Mind-body medicine: a model of the comparative clinical impact of the acute stress and relaxation responses.
Although the physiological and biochemical changes that occur during the acute stress response have been well-characterized, the contrasting changes that underlie the relaxation response evoked by various mind-body techniques are less understood. To help guide future mind-body research, we present a conceptual model that integrates patterns of change at the physiological and molecular levels. In addition, we point to future research opportunities and discuss how repeated elicitation of these responses could influence the health of patients. (+info)
Exploring integrative medicine for back and neck pain - a pragmatic randomised clinical pilot trial.