„I think you can achieve quite a lot if all of the staff stands behind it“—A qualitative study about the experience, knowledge and application of complementary therapies and integrative medicine in pediatrics

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Journal Article
Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2018, 41 pp. 186 - 191
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Background: In the United States there is an increasing use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) as well as integrative medicine (IM) in pediatrics. This study investigates the extent of knowledge and practical application of and attitudes towards the use and integration of CAM/IM therapies in two German pediatric clinics. Methods: A semi-standardized qualitative interview study was conducted in a rural children's hospital in Bavaria and in a children's clinic in the metropolitan area of Ruhr. Sixteen employees (7 nurses, 9 medical doctors, 68.8% female), who had volunteered through a local contact, were questioned during their shift on CAM/IM therapies. The data collected were analyzed with MAXQDA 12 using a qualitative technique for content analysis (by Mayring). Results: On average all respondents had little to superficial knowledge about the possibilities or evidence base of the therapies concerned, but did believe that CAM/IM could be an enhancement. In addition, many took interest in learning more about CAM/IM medical options. Nurses desired more practical and theoretical knowledge; while medical doctors focused on standardization and evidence base. All of them agreed that self-care strategies could enhance parental independence when treating symptoms of minor illnesses. They further agreed, that a symbiosis of conventional medicine and CAM/IM has great potential for patients and employees. It was stated that training of staff would be indispensable in order to implement standardized procedures. Conclusions: There is great potential and interest in CAM/IM among pediatric care employees. Regardless of the challenges, this investigation did find that implementing CAM/IM might be a promising extension to the daily care routine.
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