Date of Paper

5-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Katharine Hill

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to increase the understanding of the assessment, implementation and referral of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in order to meet psychosocial needs and decrease stress among diabetic patients. Using a mixed method design, both qualitative and quantitative research questions were incorporated into a survey distributed using a non-probability sample of healthcare professionals working in family medicine or general medicine practices within the metro area. The study attempted to answer the following questions: Is integrative medicine being conducted by healthcare professionals to address type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients’ psychosocial needs in family medicine and primary care settings? Is IM being assessed, referred and implemented in family medicine and primary care settings? Quantitative data was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistical analyses. Qualitative data was interpreted using the content analysis technique. Findings indicated respondents who ask about CAM use during clinic appointments are more likely to implementCAMduring office appointments. Respondents that ask about CAM during office visits were more likely to refer toCAMfor additional care. Next, there was an increased likelihood of putting psychosocial interventions in the treatment plan when respondents assessed for diabetic patients’ psychosocial needs. The respondents who endorsed practicing CAM personally were more likely than those who have not to refer diabetic patients’ toCAMfor additional needs. Findings suggested that implementingCAMis not a standard practice. Findings related to barriers were consistent with previous literature. Respondents endorsed an increase in blood sugars are a result of stress among diabetic patients. These findings emphasize the importance of assessing and addressing psychosocial needs among diabetics in order to decrease the harmful effects of stress.

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