The characteristics, experiences and perceptions of naturopathic and herbal medicine practitioners: Results from a national survey in New Zealand

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2015, 15 (1)
Issue Date:
2015-04-10
Metrics:
Full metadata record
© Cottingham et al.; licensee BioMed Central. Background: Despite the popularity of naturopathic and herbal medicine in New Zealand there remains limited data on New Zealand-based naturopathic and herbal medicine practice. Methods: An online survey (covering 6 domains: demographics; practice characteristics; research; integrative practice; regulation and funding; contribution to national health objectives) was administered to naturopaths and herbal medicine practitioners. From a total of 338 naturopaths and herbal medicine practitioners, 107 responded providing a response rate of 32%. Data were statistically analysed using STATA. Results: A majority of the naturopaths and herbal medicine practitioners surveyed were female (91%), and aged between 45 and 54 years. Most practiced part-time (64%), with practitioner caseloads averaging 8 new clients and over 20 follow-up clients per month. Conclusions: There is a need for greater understanding and communication between practitioners of conventional care and naturopathic and herbal medicine which could support informed, coordinated and effective health provision within the New Zealand health care system. There is a need for further in-depth research examining naturopaths and herbal medicine practitioners' perceptions and practices, to provide insights of benefit to all those practising and managing health services as well as those directing health policy in New Zealand.
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