Physicians' philosophy of care: a comparison of complementary and conventional medicine

Marian, Florica; Widmer, Marcel; Herren, Sylvia; Dönges, Andreas; Busato, André (2006). Physicians' philosophy of care: a comparison of complementary and conventional medicine. Forschende Komplementärmedizin und klassische Naturheilkunde, 13(2), pp. 70-7. Basel: Karger 10.1159/000090735

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BACKGROUND: This project is part of an evaluation of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) aimed at providing a scientific basis for the Swiss Government to include 5 CAM methods in basic health coverage: anthroposophic medicine, homeopathy, neural therapy, phytotherapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). OBJECTIVES: The objective was to explore the philosophy of care (convictions and values, priorities in medical activity, motivation for CAM, criteria for the practice of CAM, limits of the used methods) of conventional and CAM general practitioners (GPs) and to determine differences between both groups. MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was a cross-sectional survey of a representative sample of 623 GPs who provide complementary or conventional primary care. A mailed questionnaire with open-ended questions focusing on the philosophy of care was used for data collection. An appropriate methodology using a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches was developed. RESULTS: Significant differences between both groups include philosophy of care (holistic versus positivistic approaches), motivation for CAM (intrinsic versus extrinsic) and priorities in medical activity. Both groups seem to be aware of limitations of the therapeutic methods used. The study reveals that conventional physicians are also using complementary medicine. DISCUSSION: Our study provides a wealth of data documenting several aspects of physicians' philosophy of care as well as differences and similarities between conventional and complementary care. Implications of the study with regard to quality of care as well as ethical and health policy issues should be investigated further.

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Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Medical Education > Institute of Complementary and Integrative Medicine (IKIM)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute for Evaluative Research into Orthopaedic Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Marian, Florence; Widmer, Marcel and Busato, André










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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:47

Last Modified:

06 Dec 2013 13:42

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URI: (FactScience: 2666)

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