Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 39, Issue 12, December 2010

Complementary medicine in general practice A national survey of GP attitudes and knowledge

Jared Brown Tessa Morgan Margaret Williamson Jon Adams Vicki Kotsirilos AM Marie Pirotta
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Integrative medicine is a holistic approach to patient care that utilises both conventional and complementary therapy. This article compares the demographics of Australian general practitioners who do, and those who do not, practise integrative medicine, and their perceptions and knowledge about complementary medicines.
Many GPs incorporate complementary medicines into their practice, whether or not they identify with the ‘integrative medicine’ label. General practitioners need to be well informed about the evidence base for, and potential risks of, complementary medicines to ensure effective decision making. Use of available resources and inclusion of complementary medicine in education programs may assist this.
Data from 1178 GPs was analysed. While GPs who practise integrative medicine were more knowledgeable about complementary medicine and more aware of potential adverse reactions, there were significant knowledge gaps for both groups.

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