176658 Who uses a Chinese herbal medicine clinic based in an inner-city community health center? Report of a unique model, including a detailed case series

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 9:10 AM

Collins J. Allen, M Ac, Dipl CH , New England School of Acupuncture, Newton, MA
Peter M. Wayne, PhD , Osher Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Julie E. Dunn, PhD , Research Department, New England School of Acupuncture, Newton, MA
While there has been increasing interest in the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among underserved groups in the US, little is known specifically about the use of traditional Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) among patients seen at inner-city public health clinics. The objective of this case report is to increase public awareness of the potential of CHM by describing the operation of the New England School of Acupuncture (NESA) CHM clinic operating within a community health center in Roxbury, MA. Staffed by student interns and supervised by NESA faculty, the clinic provides CHM consultation and treatment one day per week. Acupuncture treatments are also provided. Donations of powdered extract herbs by a local distributor have enabled the clinic to operate free of charge. A retrospective review of 90 active case files was conducted, covering a period from the clinic's inception in May 2003 through 2007. These patients ranged in age from 5 to 86 years (median=51). 75% were women, 52% African-American, 12% Hispanic, 22% White, and 13% Other or race-ethnicity unknown. The most common primary complaints were musculoskeletal, including arthritis and pain at various sites (31%); neurologic, including headache and neuropathies (12%); and gastrointestinal complaints (9%). Three representative cases will be presented to offer a detailed look at the management of cases, the process of intake, diagnosis, treatment strategy, and the writing and ongoing modification of herbal prescriptions.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the characteristics of a series of patients in a Chinese herbal medicine clinic within an inner-city community health center. 2. Discuss management of three representative cases in an inner-city Chinese herbal medicine clinic. 3. Evaluate the potential of a school sponsored Chinese herbal medicine clinic for addressing the health needs of inner city residents.

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Community Health Centers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Chinese herbal medicine clinic supervisor who conducted the study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.