Integrating Complementary and Alternative Therapies with Conventional Care

Topic: Alternative Medicine
Words: 2211 Pages: 8


The medicine industry is gradually changing since the biomedical theoretical structure that transformed American healthcare in the twentieth century has continued to prevail. On the contrary, there is proof that other therapeutic modalities, with distinct conceptual contexts, are beginning to contend with the principal model (Enioutina et al., 2017). Currently, patients and physicians experience difficulties when numerous but uncoordinated care approaches are employed. For instance, standard herbal medicine mixed with pharmaceutical medications has adverse effects on patients (Enioutina et al., 2017). This paper proposes to assess the integration of complementary and substitute treatments with conservative medicine and underline the challenges faced by healthcare organizations during the procedure.

Rationales Concerning Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)

The Patient Rationale for CAM Practice

The growing number of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) consumers has significantly influenced healthcare. The change affects patients’ intentions for seeking substitute treatment in their preferences, which is expected to impact health models’ future. Most individual and cultural aspects such as geography, age, race, and gender impact the choice of treatment services (Enioutina et al., 2017). Furthermore, the care conditions that clients prefer influence the type of healthcare system. The research presents that patients with chronic health issues tend to be significant consumers of CAM. They usually employ integrated therapy and principal medicine for prevention rather than the cure of sickness.

Additionally, studies assessing CAM consumers’ intentions propose that despite numerous clients valuing and relying on conventional treatment, they appreciate the modality qualities and features absent in principal care. The characteristics that users value include personal attention, low charges, holistic approach to healing, cultural sensitivity, and absence of adverse side effects (Enioutina et al., 2017). These principles usually involve practices and beliefs shared by most alternative and complementary models of treatment.

Physician rationale for CAM consumption

Similar to their clients, mainstream medical physicians are significantly investigating non-conventional healthcare and treatment options. The move has been instigated by the desire to communicate appropriately and acquire supplementary knowledge in interactions with their customers, who approach them to enquire about complementary and alternative cures. However, some practitioners are interested in the rapid growth and pharmaceutical focus on conventional therapy (Enioutina et al., 2017). The dramatic statistics on healthcare errors and risks have alerted physicians to investigate principal medical treatments’ safety further.

Moreover, the search for adequate care for illnesses that do not spread well to conventional therapy has also compelled practitioners to research complementary and alternative medicine. For instance, the growing number of frequent ailments such as fibromyalgia and lifestyle-related illnesses often fail to systematic conventional care practices’ medical modalities (Enioutina et al., 2017). Therefore, medical institutions and insurers who have incorporated CAM in their policies have realized an overwhelming market demand for their services.

Methods to Integrative Healthcare

The Informed Physician

In this approach, a medical physician becomes knowledgeable about one or more complementary treatments, thus enabling them to communicate effectively and accurately inform consumers about their consumption. For instance, a family therapist can acquire information about herbal therapies and mind-body therapies for illnesses commonly experienced in clinics (Miech et al., 2018). Despite knowledge and interaction being the principal objective of this approach, the medical professional may recommend various CAM strategies, such as a specific mind-body, nutritional treatment, and body-work care as part of the medical plan based on the consumers’ sincerity.

The strategy’s advantages are enhanced patient interaction, improved ability to present data to consumers on efficacy and safety of CAM treatments, and the ability to make informed recommendations about clients’ consumption of complementary methods. However, the model’s limitations include the practitioners’ unfamiliarity with the subtle directives that guide its selection (Miech et al., 2018). The CAM model does not have mechanisms for a response from public providers other than consumers recording their experiences, making it difficult to make conclusions concerning the incorporated treatments. Often, therapists adopt this method to satisfy clients’ questions on CAM in their fields of practice and present procedures for consuming supplements and herbs, including their dealings with conservative medical treatments.

The Informed Networking Provider

The approach builds on the first strategy by adding informal recommendation networks with CAM physicians to their developing breadth and knowledge of complementary treatments. Establishing a referral foundation relies on assessing domestic resources, clients’ and associates’ appointments, and individual experiences (Miech et al., 2018). The advantage of this method over the first model is that it presents a broader range of medical options for consumers, including the use of developed public referral patterns when organizational policies restrict complementary therapist credentialing for on-site treatment.

However, this method’s limitations include lack of documentation management, difficulty following consumer follow-through and results, and the absence of face-to-face time among providers for the conservation of cases (Miech et al., 2018). Furthermore, it presents an inconvenience to consumers who are expected to travel to various places to continue medical care, the irregular recommendation of CAM therapists, and the absence of insurance on complementary services.

The Informed CAM-Trained Therapist

According to this method, the conservative medical provider who might or might not have established referral connections includes thorough training in CAM treatments to the prior knowledge of complementary care. For instance, a conventionally skilled medical director in general practice becomes a certified acupuncturist by taking a documented course offered by a state-recognized training institution and becomes licensed in the state (Miech et al., 2018).

The approach’s primary benefit is that the results and suggestions’ certification is under the therapist’s direct control. The method requires documentation of credentialing and liability coverage of the newly acquired capabilities. Responses for assessing the strategy originate from consumers, individual encounters, and other physicians (Miech et al., 2018). The primary goal of pursuing the model is the desire for providers to enhance professional skills, include billable processes to the exercise mix, and improve treatment preferences.

Multidisciplinary Incorporated Group Exercise

The model entails providers presenting both complementary and conservative treatments in a partnership focused on particular medical concerns. A unique characteristic of the method is that although physicians work collaboratively within the same surrounding, clients see distinct nurses in the institution (Miech et al., 2018). For instance, a consumer may initially seek medication from a non-practitioner acupuncturist for backache and later get referred to the internist for supplementary assessment.

The approach’s key advantage is its ability to focus on particular medical areas, such as women’s health, family treatment, pain, rheumatological disorders, and geriatrics. Reduced overhead is also achievable due to a collaborative working environment and subordinate personnel. However, its limitations are the risks of increased financial exposure due to the inconsistency, inefficiency amongst workers and probable legal threats to the exercise if crucial personnel does not inhibit adequate certification (Miech et al., 2018). The strategy’s main objective is to focus on particular health concerns in a collaborative and integrative fashion. Despite the model not requiring any additional training, further education is vital for every partner to become familiar with the disciplines.

Evaluation of The Project

Often, various projects fail during their implementation due to vital factors such as lack of resource planning, unclear plan visibility, communication breaches, scope creep, and unrealistic goals. The integration of complementary and alternative medicine into the current healthcare system will significantly influence the sector’s productivity and enhancement to adapt to the changing global environment (Amelung et al., 2017). Therefore, the stakeholders can successfully incorporate the scheme by setting realistic expectations that all players in the industry understand. The move will present a better opportunity for the whole team to recognize the project’s benefits, thus encouraging its integration.

Furthermore, scope creep is a vital aspect of project failure if ignored; thus, proper budgeting and setting a realistic project implementation period will prevent the issue; therefore, success in project integration. Selecting the best communication platform will enable the stakeholders to effectively communicate the plan’s outline, thus understanding what is expected and utilizing the scheme’s technology. Shareholders should also ensure that they set clear guidelines on the type of information that needs to be communicated.

Additionally, sharing the project’s status with all players will enable them to adjust and assist accordingly. Therefore, having a centralized digital storage unit for all scheme documents will improve visibility and ease project managers’ work during implementation (Amelung et al., 2017). Finally, establishing the human resources required, the period of integration, facilities needed, and what third-party players depend on will give a clear understanding of all the project’s success resources.

Steps Towards Incorporating CAM with Conservative Treatment

Assessing Beliefs

The integration procedure begins with the examination of individual beliefs on illness and healing. From the evaluation of patient perceptions, the providers may develop compassion and become motivated to acquire new knowledge and skills for improving the treatment given to their clients (Durán Ojeda et al., 2017). Therefore, consideration of complementary medicine’s doctrines regarding personal opinions and care practice will incorporate the healthcare system’s medical process.

Collaborating with CAM Therapists

Success further depends on the providers’ interaction with personal CAM therapists and integrative procedures. Individuals’ contact with the practitioners through recommendations and collegial gathering is vital to ensure complete incorporation. Therefore, it is beneficial to visit CAM professionals’ public practice setup, such as herbalists, reflexology nurses, and chiropractic therapists (Durán Ojeda et al., 2017). Developing an expert relationship with the providers will present the foundation for successful collaborative consumer treatment.

Developing Clinical Experience

Conservative healthcare experts can build on formerly learned capabilities and experiences to shift to integrative treatment successfully. Physicians can hence incorporate new skills and abilities with conventional professionalism through a theoretical structure. In clinical medicine, recording clinical observations such as patient satisfaction is vital, just as in integrative care (Durán Ojeda et al., 2017). The information can further guide future interventions and preferences, thus creating ideas for projects.

Establishing Professional Systems

Professional development will benefit from the support of like-minded domestic and national experts. Such collaborations will present opportunities to share and address common problems and pursue supplementary training and knowledge. They will further boost appreciation of the vast communal concerns that accompany the incorporation of CAM with conservative treatment, including the necessity for regulatory, administrative, and institutional changes.

Supplementary Resources Necessary

Adequate resources are a standard necessity for the successful incorporation of a treatment. Investment of capital and time significantly varies depending on the theory of integration and training types, experts, and equipment desired. The required knowledge may need a substantial amount of resources, while some models include increased cost of institutions and equipment such as herbal databases or massage tables (Durán Ojeda et al., 2017). These investments can be made possible by integrating them at a pace favorable for the physicians.

The Challenges of Integration Process

Legal and Licensing Threat

A particularly robust set of concerns for conventional physicians and healthcare clients relates to regulation, licensing, certification, and privilege of CAM practitioners in the conservative medical sector. Relatively well-structured documentation and training programs govern some CAM therapists, such as chiropractic nurses (Liem, 2018). Licensure necessities for several CAM exercises are distinct in various states. For instance, while most states license the practice of acupuncture by non-practitioners, some states require referral. The law in the treatment model is shifting fast, and consistent assessment of the current changes is vital in limiting liabilities.

Financial Impediments

There are several economic disincentives to integration, such as the absence of third-party settlements for numerous conservative treatments. Venture capital was available in the 20th century for the startup of integrative facilities, but with partial reimbursements, revenue margins were also low, and funding dried up fast (Liem, 2018). Change in this sector will need new policies and practices on practitioners, insurers, and state and local legislative bodies. Additionally, to realize such changes, stakeholders should establish additional high-quality training, demonstrating positive CAM treatments results, and insurers’ biases regarding the modalities are addressed.

System Resistance

The most significant barrier to CAM existence in Western culture’s shared view that conventional treatment is a known entity based on reasonable directives and excellent procedures. Some consumers perceive it as a workable, comfortable, and profitable system that answers most individuals’ healthcare requirements despite its side effects and interactions (Liem, 2018). Furthermore, “customary and usual medicine” introduces barriers that obstruct change and consumption of alternatives (Liem, 2018, p. 520). Integrating CAM into such a system is therefore problematic, and in several cases, incorporation of particular complementary care needs significant proof of safety and efficacy than required of conservative medicine. The marketplace economy of healthcare, such as short office visits and dependence on costly processes, joined with adequate control of the pharmaceutical sector on the health industry proposing habits of therapists, is a restraint to institutional adjustment.


Integrative treatment is a visionary model taking form in various directions within America. As numerous sectors of society such as third-party players, government, physicians, and consumers seek solutions to current Western medicine concerns, stakeholders in integrative care have led the way in encouraging the integration. Furthermore, the extent to which certified practitioners present new treatments to consumers relies on the regulatory, political, and legal environment. Despite the limitations, numerous creative solutions are being introduced by integrative therapists attending the clinic management and the pursuit of accessible, affordable healthcare for a wide range of potential consumers. Therefore, the theory should not be viewed as a competing concept among medical practices but rather a conservative ideal that can offer various ways to prescribe treatment.


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