Research: FRENKEL and others,

Listed in Issue 151


FRENKEL and others, The Complementary and Traditional Medicine Unit, Department of Family Medicine, The Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, The Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel,, have studied ways of educating CAM therapists about integrative medicine.


The aim of this study was to assess an educational initiative that teaches CAM students how to communicate more effectively with conventional physicians about CAM.


An educational initiative in integrative medicine was introduced to CAM students in their final year of study, emphasizing evidence-based learning, patient-centred care, and communication skills with conventional health care providers. A pre-course semi-structured questionnaire and an anonymous open essay about the students' experiences at the end of the course were used as tools for assessment. The pre-course questionnaires and the post-course essays were evaluated, using content analysis for parallel responses to determine whether students' views changed during the course.


The experience in 62 students exposed to the initiative during 4 academic years, 2001-2005, was evaluated. CAM students perceive that they need practical communication tools in order to communicate effectively with conventional practitioners. After the educational experience, the students confirmed that critical thinking training is important, and reported feeling more empowered and more confident in their work as well as in communicating with physicians.


These results suggest that CAM practitioners feel better equipped to communicate with conventional health care practitioners after being taught a course that emphasizes critical thinking, patient-centred care, and communication skills with conventional practitioners.


Frenkel M et al. Educating CAM practitioners about integrative medicine: an approach to overcoming the communication gap with conventional health care practitioners. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 13 (3): 387-391, Apr 2007.

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