Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Define CAM (complementary and alternative medicine)
Describe the patient who uses CAM the most.
List some common misconceptions about CAM.
Identify methods of including the use of CAM in patient education.
Discuss the safe use of CAM.
List ways in which conventional medicine and CAM can be integrated.
Define ethical theories, ethical principles, and values.
Provide examples of ethical issues in patient education and compliance, and describe ways in which an effective professional/patient relationship and a poor health professional/patient relationship can impact these issues.
Explain what is meant by “ethical patient education practices”
Explain the purpose of informed consent.
Discuss what factors determine the patient’s ability to give informed consent.
Compose a sample informed consent form. .
Discuss the process of communication to use with the patient and the family when obtaining informed consent.
Complementary medicine comprises the diagnostic and therapeutic disciplines applied together with conventional medicine. An example is using aromatherapy to reduce a patient’s discomfort following surgery. On the other hand, alternative medicine comprises the medical treatments that are applied in place of mainstream therapies such as herbal treatments and dietary supplements (Maduskar, 2021).
About one-third of the US adults use complementary and alternative medicine. Older adults are the most likely to use CAM to manage their health conditions and improve their health. Besides, evidence shows that women are more likely to use CAM than men (Peltzer & Pengpid, 2018).
There are various common misconceptions that people have about CAM. One of them is that alternative medicine is only an option. However, many alternative practitioners are also qualified medical professionals, such as medical doctors (James et al., 2018). The alternative practitioners collaborate with medical doctors to provide care. Therefore, patients should inform their healthcare providers about any alternative treatments they are receiving from other healthcare providers. The second one is that holistic medicine is not conventional. This is not true since scientists and healthcare professionals research various CAM forms to determine their efficacy. For instance, therapies such as acupuncture and improved are approved and incorporated into standard medical practices (James et al., 2018). The third misconception is that CAM does not work. This is contrary to several studies that have confirmed treatment measures, such as acupuncture, as an effective treatment for several health conditions (James et al., 2018).
The use of CAM can be included in patient education is by establishing open discussions with patients regarding CAM to allow the patients to learn about CAM and its effectiveness. The second approach is by integrating the use of CAM in medical school programs or learning curricula to help increase the knowledge of healthcare professionals about CAM.
Several studies have confirmed the safety of CAM therapies, such as yoga, acupuncture, and meditation, and revealed that they are effective and safe for use. Nevertheless, evidence has identified others that do not work and can be harmful to a human being (James et al., 2018).
Conventional medicine and CAM can be integrated using various ways. They include making advertisements in medical journals, television, medical conferences, and continuing education.
Ethical theory is a logical effort meant to enhance understanding of ethics and moral behavior.
Ethical principles are general judgments that justify specific ethical prescriptions and assessments of human behavior. They include the principle of justice and beneficence.
Patient privacy and confidentiality are the types of ethical issues in patient education and compliance. A positive professional-patient relationship helps promote patient privacy and confidentiality.
Ethical values are defined as fundamental beliefs that guide or motivate our actions and are used to determine what is important to us.
Ethical patient education practice refers to when healthcare professionals practice patient education in an ethical manner, including making valid judgments about the patient can learn, considering the patient’s culture, not limiting the knowledge the patient can receive, and making wrong assumptions about the patient.
The main aim of informed consent is to safeguard the patient by ensuring there is accurate and transparent communication between the healthcare provider and the patient (AMA, n.d).
Some of the factors that influence a patient’s capability to give informed consent include the capacity of the patient to make a decision, the patient’s understanding about the information shared in regard to the patient’s decision, the manner the clinician discloses the information and voluntariness (AMA, n.d).
The first step involved in communicating about informed consent to the patient and family is assessing the patient’s and family’s ability to understand medical information and the implications of prescribed treatment measures to allow independent and voluntary decision making. The second step is disclosure, where relevant medical information is conveyed to the patient and family. Lastly, the informed consent is signed by the patient or family and documented.
American Medical Association (AMA). (n.d). Informed Consent. Retrieved from https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/ethics/informed-consent
James, P. B., Wardle, J., Steel, A., & Adams, J. (2018). Traditional, complementary and alternative medicine use in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review. BMJ global health, 3(5), e000895. https://gh.bmj.com/content/3/5/e000895.abstract
Maduskar, S. (2021). An account of alternative and complementary medicine and its scope in a clinical scale. International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health, 8(7), 3341. https://www.academia.edu/download/67826025/CAM_published_paper.pdf
Peltzer, K., & Pengpid, S. (2018). Prevalence and determinants of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine provider use among adults from 32 countries. Chinese journal of integrative Medicine, 24(8), 584-590. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11655-016-2748-y