Background. We describe the process and challenges of delivering integrative medicine (IM) at a large, acute care hospital, from the perspectives of IM practitioners. To date, minimal literature that addresses the delivery of IM care in an inpatient setting from this perspective exists. Methods. Fifteen IM practitioners were interviewed about their experience delivering IM services at Abbott Northwestern Hospital (ANW), a 630-bed tertiary care hospital. Themes were drawn from codes developed through analysis of the data. Results. Analysis of interview transcripts highlighted challenges of ensuring efficient use of IM practitioner resources across a large hospital, the IM practitioner role in affecting patient experiences, and the ways practitioners navigated differences in IM and conventional medicine cultures in an inpatient setting. Conclusions. IM practitioners favorably viewed their role in patient care, but this work existed within the context of challenges related to balancing supply and demand for services and to integrating an IM program into the established culture of a large hospital. Hospitals planning IM programs should carefully assess the supply and demand dynamics of offering IM in a hospital, advocate for the unique IM practitioner role in patient care, and actively support integration of conventional and complementary approaches.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine|
|State||Published - 2015|