Complementary and Alternative Medicine Education for Medical Profession: Systematic Review
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AbstractPurpose. To help integrate traditional, complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM) into health systems, efforts are being made to educate biomedical doctors (BMD) and medical students on TCAM. We systematically evaluated the effect of TCAM education on BMD and medical students' attitude, knowledge, and behavior towards TCAM utilization and integration with biomedical medicine. Methods. Evaluative studies were identified from four databases. Methodological quality was assessed using the Medical Education Research Study Quality Instrument (MERSQI). Study outcomes were classified using Kirkpatrick's hierarchy. Results. 3122 studies were identified and 12 studies of mediocre quality met inclusion criteria. Qualitative synthesis showed usage of diverse approaches including didactic, experiential learning, varying length, teacher background and intensity of exposure. More positive attitudes and improved knowledge after intervention were noted especially when teachers were BM trained. However, few studies assessed behavior change objectively. Finally, longer-term objective outcomes such as impact on patient care were not assessed. Conclusions. Lack of use of objective and reliable instruments preclude firm conclusion on the effect of TCAM education on study participants. However, positive changes, although mostly subjectively reported, were noted in most studies. Future evaluation should use validated or objective outcome assessments, and the value of using dual trained instructors.