Classification of complementary and alternative medical practices: Family physicians' ratings... - Abstract - Europe PubMed Central
Classification of complementary and alternative medical practices: Family physicians' ratings of effectiveness.
Department of Sociology, 317 Isbister Bldg, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB. CJ_Fries@umanitoba.ca
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ABSTRACTOBJECTIVETo develop a classification of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practices widely available in Canada based on physicians' effectiveness ratings of the therapies.DESIGNA self-administered postal questionnaire asking family physicians to rate their "belief in the degree of therapeutic effectiveness" of 15 CAM therapies.SETTINGProvince of Alberta.PARTICIPANTSA total of 875 family physicians.MAIN OUTCOME MEASURESDescriptive statistics of physicians' awareness of and effectiveness ratings for each of the therapies; factor analysis was applied to the ratings of the 15 therapies in order to explore whether or not the data support the proposed classification of CAM practices into categories of accepted and rejected.RESULTSPhysicians believed that acupuncture, massage therapy, chiropractic care, relaxation therapy, biofeedback, and spiritual or religious healing were effective when used in conjunction with biomedicine to treat chronic or psychosomatic indications. Physicians attributed little effectiveness to homeopathy or naturopathy, Feldenkrais or Alexander technique, Rolfing, herbal medicine, traditional Chinese medicine, and reflexology. The factor analysis revealed an underlying dimensionality to physicians' effectiveness ratings of the CAM therapies that supports the classification of these practices as either accepted or rejected.CONCLUSIONThis study provides Canadian family physicians with information concerning which CAM therapies are generally accepted by their peers as effective and which are not.
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