Online Program

Interprofessional Collaboration of Integrative Health & Medicine Professionals in Private Practice and in the Delivery of Care to the Underserved

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 11:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Beth Rosenthal, MPH, MBA, PhD, Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care, Chicago, IL
Anthony Lisi, DC, VHA Chiropractic Service, Office of Rehabilitation Services, Dept of Veterans Affairs, West Haven, CT

Interprofessional collaboration (IPC), defined as the efforts of different professions working together to positively impact healthcare, can improve healthcare processes and outcomes.

The principles and processes of IPC may be of particular importance to integrative health and medicine (IHM) providers, who have historically practiced in relative isolation from each other and from mainstream medicine. Furthermore, IHM providers may be integrated into collaborative teams that can help improve access to and quality of care to medically underserved communities (MUC). A better understanding of the current state of IPC among IHM professionals in private practice and in community health facilities is needed. The purpose of the proposed project is to investigate the extent and aspects of IPC and its relation to MUC occurring in a sample of IHM providers from the five licensed disciplines.

Specific Aims/Objectives

This project will pursue three specific aims:

i)       Document and characterize the current state of IPC among a group of IHM providers in private practice / community health settings, including the facilitators and obstacles to IPC

ii)      Explore the extent that these clinicians are providing community care to underserved populations, and whether a) IPC influences their willingness and capacity to provide such care, and/or b) being engaged in providing community care influences the degree of IPC these clinicians experience 

iii)    Identify factors that could strengthen and expand a) the amount and quality of IPC among these providers, and b) the structures and processes for IHM providers to contribute to community healthcare


Qualitative health services study using semi-structured interviews of providers from the five licensed IHM disciplines: acupuncture and Oriental medicine, chiropractic medicine, direct entry midwifery, massage therapy and naturopathic medicine.  Interview transcripts will be coded and analyzed using NVivo (QSR International). Two sets of deductive (hypothesis-testing) analyses will be conducted, as well as a series of inductive, exploratory analyses. 

Potential Impact

A better understanding of collaborative care processes between IHM providers, and between IHM and conventional providers, can identify strategies to improve this collaboration.  Also since IPC may be both a means to providing care for MUC, or a consequence of providing care to MUC, the results of this work can be informative to increasing access to underserved communities and subsequently improving population health.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Describe the current state of interprofessional collaboration (IPC) among a group of integrative health and medicine providers in private practice / community health settings, including the facilitators and obstacles to IPC.

Keyword(s): Alternative and Complementary Health, Underserved Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Assistant Director of the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care and have been involved with this non-profit for seven plus years. I work with educators, clinicians, researchers, policy-makers, and administrators in the integrative health and medicine professions and am primarily responsible for managing working groups and projects addressing challenges to interprofessional education and collaboration.
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.