199493 Characteristics of CAM-competent consumers: Optimal endpoints for integrative healthcare education

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 11:30 AM

Adam Burke, PhD, MPH, LAc , Health Education, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Donna Feeley, MPH, RN , Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Falls Church, VA
Michael Wiles, DC , Northwestern Health Sciences University, Bloomington, MN
Beth Rosenthal, MPH, MBA, PhD , ACCAHC, Seattle, WA
Morgan Martin, ND, LM , School of Naturopathic Medicine, Department of Naturopathic Midwifery, Bastyr University, Kenmore, WA
John Weeks , ACCAHC, Seattle, WA
Liza Goldblatt, PhD, MPA/HA , ACTCM, San Francisco, CA
Background: The CDC reports that over 90 million Americans live with chronic illnesses, accounting for 70% of deaths annually, and almost $1 trillion in annual medical costs. Given the significant role lifestyle plays in chronic disease there is a crucial need for a new model of disease prevention and self-care.

Although many excellent health promotion programs already contribute to this challenge one area that merits additional attention is Alternative Health/Complementary and Alternative Medicine (AH/CAM). Reasons for greater integration relate to: the growing national use of AH/CAM practices; the preventive nature of AH/CAM concepts and therapies; constructive social values positively correlated with AH/CAM use; and to the increasing presence of integrative medical care in the US. For this reason an expert panel was convened to explore basic CAM consumer competencies.

Participants: Members of the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) Education Working Group.

Design: An expert panel focus group.

Results: Deliberations included the focus of the exploration, inclusion of competencies from previous works, and original ideas. Proposed competencies included understanding the unique benefits of specific AH/CAM modalities, selecting appropriate integrative health care providers, knowing when to use CAM self-care, knowledge related to issues of efficacy, safety, product quality, lifestyle and more.

Conclusions: Given the preventable nature of many chronic conditions, and the importance of self-care for chronic disease management, significantly greater fusion of AH/CAM perspectives are needed to address these 21st century health care challenges. This emerging field of integrative wellness education will require continued input from professional groups with understanding of integrative health care perspectives.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the preventive nature of AH/CAM, including the observed relationship between engagement in AH/CAM health practices and conventional self-care behaviors; 2. List 4 distinct CAM treatment modalities; 3. Describe the role of integrative health education in helping individuals make informed decisions regarding integrative provider selection; 4. List 2 issues related to AH/CAM/Integrative Medicine product/therapy safety that a consumer should be aware of; 5. Describe possible elements of an AH/CAM-oriented health promotion course.

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: CAM provider
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.