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Outcome evaluation of a four-year alternative medicine program at a university medical school

Caroline H. Sparks, PhD1, Susan Silver, Post-MS Hth Adm2, Afifa Klouj, MBA3, Bunmi A. Sumby, BDS1, and John C. Pan, MD2. (1) Prevention Research Center, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University, 2175 K Street, N.W., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037, (202) 467-2277, ihochs@gwumc.edu, (2) Center for Integrative Medicine, School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University, 908 New Hampshire Ave., N.W., #200, Washington, DC 20037, (3) Biostatistics Center, George Washington University, 2300 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

The Center for Integrative Medicine (CIM)and evaluators at the Prevention Research center of the School of Public Health and Health Services at the George Washington University (GWU) are reporting the results of an outcome evaluation of a four-year program to integrate Complementary & Alternative Medicine education into medical students' curriculum at the GWU Medical School. The Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) of the U.S. Education Department was the program sponsor. The program comprised two cohorts of medical students in different medical classes followed for three & four years each. Volunteers in each cohort were randomly assigned to intervention and non-intervention groups. A third comparison group comprised the rest of the medical class. Intervention volunteers were expected to experience 12 CAM modalities at the CIM, engage in lecture/discussion groups about CAM theory and principles, observe CAM practitioners and take part in case management at CIM. An annual survey administered to all groups assessed knowledge of CAM, as well as attitudes toward and intent to use CAM in future practice.

Analysis of the cohorts indicates that use of CAM among intervention volunteers was significantly higher than among any other group. Intervention volunteers also showed more positive attitudes toward CAM and were more likely to use CAM in their future practices than others.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this session, attendees will be able to

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Voices, Views, and Visions of Current and Future Health Professionals on Alternative and Complementary Health Practices

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA