Cover: Hospital-Based Integrative Medicine

Hospital-Based Integrative Medicine

A Case Study of the Barriers and Factors Facilitating the Creation of a Center

Published May 28, 2007

by Ian D. Coulter, Marcia A. Ellison, Lara Hilton, Hilary J. Rhodes, Gery W. Ryan

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Current integrative medicine practices in hospital settings involve some form of partnership between complementary and alternative medicine and biomedicine. This five-year study adopted a longitudinal methodology to track the establishment of a single hospital-based Integrative Medicine Center. Using extensive qualitative interview data, the project staff conducted a stakeholder analysis of all participants involved in the establishment and continuation of the Integrative Medicine Center and collected data from hospital documents, patient files, patient questionnaires and provider questionnaires. Although some factors clearly worked in favor of the center, the hospital had few models to guide it and no experience in creating such a clinic. Thus, it made many decisions in the areas of administration, finance, and legal issues that created barriers to the center's success, and the center was ultimately closed.

This work was supported by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. The research was conducted in RAND Health, a division of the RAND Corporation.

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