Listed in Issue 185


DEGLON-FISCHER and COLLEAGUES,  Kollegiale Instanz fur Komplementarmedizin KIKOM, Universitat Bern, Imhoof-Pavillon, Inselspital, Schweiz. investigated the current supply of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in Swiss primary care.


This study information was collected on physicians' qualifications in CAM, frequency of patients' demand for CAM, physicians' supply and temporal resources for CAM as well as physicians' referrals to CAM.


750 (500 German-speaking and 250 French-speaking) randomly selected Swiss female and male primary care physicians were asked to complete a questionnaire (response rate 50.4%). Sociodemographic data on professional training, place of residence, and sex were used to calculate a weighting factor to correct the responders' data in the analysis accordingly.


14.2% of the physicians were qualified in at least one CAM discipline. Around 30% (95% confidence interval 25.4-34.6%) of the physicians were asked for CAM by their patients more than once a week. Homeopathy and phytotherapy were the most frequently offered therapies, followed by traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)/acupuncture. 62.5% (57.6-67.4%) of the physicians refer their patients to CAM. Most patients were referred to TCM/acupuncture. Of the 37.2% (32.6-42.4%) of the physicians who do not refer their patients to CAM, around 40% (35.1-44.9%) offer it themselves.


About three quarters of the physicians offer CAM themselves or refer their patients to CAM treatments. CAM is very important in primary medical care in Switzerland. Clear regulations for CAM are required in order to ensure a high quality in care. Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.


Deglon-Fischer A, Barth J, Ausfeld-Hafter B. [Complementary and alternative medicine in primary care in Switzerland]. [German] Forschende Komplementarmedizin (2006). 16(4):251-5, Aug 2009.

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