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Knowledge, Attitudes, and Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) among Health Education Professionals

Ping Hu Johnson, MD, PhD, CHES, Health, Physical Education and Sports Science, Kennesaw State University, 1000 Chastain Road, Kennesaw, GA 30314, 770-499-3149, pjohnso2@kennesaw.edu

CAM use is growing rapidly among US health care consumers. Despite of impressive technologic advances, more and more people become dissatisfied with the US health care system and turn to CAM therapies to deal with their health problems. It is imperative that health care providers and other health professionals be able to meet the challenge of fast growing rate of CAM use.

Numerous studies examining the knowledge, attitudes, and use of CAM among various health professionals (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers) found that many of them do not possess appropriate level of knowledge and attitudes toward CAM. They either do not feel comfortable talking about CAM with their clients or discourage their clients from using CAM therapies leaving clients in a vulnerable position of receiving inaccurate CAM information and/or services.

To date, no studies have been conducted to examine the CAM knowledge, attitudes, and use among health education professionals who work in various settings and bear the responsibilities to provide accurate and up-to-date health information for their clients. This survey study examines the CAM knowledge, attitudes, and use among health educators in the US. This presentation will report the findings from this survey and make recommendations for health education preparation programs to consider offering CAM education courses and for professional organizations, such as American Association of Health Education, American Public Health Associations, etc. to offer CAM continue education opportunities so that the future health educators will be able to meet the challenge from the health care consumers.

Learning Objectives:

  • By the end of the session, the participant will be able to

    Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Health 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