Background: Asthma is a major cause of health resource utilization, poor quality of life and disability. However, adherence to asthma treatments remains relatively poor, partially because patients often prefer to use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) instead of conventional therapies. Moreover, individuals with asthma are reluctant to disclose CAM use with their providers. It was suggested that providers' negative attitude towards CAM is one barrier to creating an open dialogue. Purpose: The aim of this exploratory study was to identify primary care providers' attitudes and beliefs about their asthma patients' CAM use. Methods: Providers who referred patients into a research study about asthma self-management, including CAM, completed three surveys: the revised Integrative Medicine Attitude Questionnaire (r-IMAQ); the 10-item CAM Health Belief Questionnaire (CHBQ); and the 30-item Morehouse College Survey of CAM Practices (MCSCAMP). Results: Of the 21 referring providers, 14 physicians and 2 nurse practitioners were enrolled. Seven were male (44%); 13 White (81%), 2 Asian (13%), 1 Black (6%); mean age was 45.7. All providers endorsed the majority of r-IMAQ items and an additional CHBQ item. The MCSCAMP found fitness and nutritional approaches to be the most common health practice (94%), followed by counseling (56%), and prayer/spiritual healing (50%). Conclusions: The results of this exploratory study suggest that providers have positive opinions about CAM, uniformly endorsing items related to spirituality, the importance of patient-provider partnerships and patients' beliefs. However, there was relatively low personal use of CAM by providers.
- asthma self-management
- complementary and alternative medicine
- health beliefs
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine