The Nexus between Patient-Centered Care and Complementary Medicine: Allies in the Era of Chronic Disease?

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Journal Article
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2017, 23 (3), pp. 158 - 163
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© Copyright 2017, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2017. Complementary medicine (CM) holds an established place of value for health care consumers around the world. Consumers seek CM specifically for the type of clinical care provided by CM practitioners, which is perceived as holistic and individualized. The holistic approach of CM has been described as patient-centered and there are indeed many parallels between the philosophy of holism and the paradigm of patient-centered care (PCC). In light of the contemporary movement toward PCC as a means of improving health care delivery, it is worth exploring CM as a potential existing resource of PCC. This is of particular interest with consideration to the growing burden of chronic disease, the emphasis of PCC in chronic disease management, and the high representation of chronic disease sufferers among CM users. However, there has been minimal investigation into the question of whether the holistic philosophies of CM are translated by CM practitioners into practical, clinical application. The changing landscape of CM practice necessitates a deeper understanding of the nature of CM clinical care to assess the role of CM in the contemporary health care environment.
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