Canadian Family Physicians and Complementary/Alternative Medicine: The Role of Practice Setting, Medical Training, and Province of Practice

Authors


  • *This project was funded by a 2005 Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)/Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD) CAM Network ICE Research Project Grant. The data are from “The 2001 CFPC National Family Physician Workforce Survey Database,” which are part of the JANUS Project, College of Family Physicians of Canada, Mississauga, ON, Canada, 2001. Funding for the 2001 NFPWS was provided by the College of Family Physicians of Canada, Canadian Institute for Health Information, Fédération des Médecins Omnipraticiens du Québec, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, Canadian Medical Association, and Health Canada. The authors thank Sarah Scott, Janus Project Coordinator, CFPC, for her help with the data, and Brian Hutchinson for informing us of the data set.

Ivy L. Bourgeault, Health Sciences Program, University of Ottawa, 43 rue Templeton St., Room 203, Ottawa, ON K1N 6X1 Canada. E-mail: ivy.bourgeault@uottawa.ca

Abstract

Cette étude jette une certaine lumière sur la façon selon laquelle les médecins de famille canadiens offrent des services de médecine douce et complémentaire (MDC) à leurs patients, et pourquoi ils le font. Les résultats des recherches des auteurs démontrent que les environnements organisationnels découragent les médecins d'offrir des services de MDC alors que les cliniques indépendantes y sont plus favorables. Les médecins formés dans les facultés de médecine francophones sont moins susceptibles que leurs collègues formés en anglais d'offrir de tels services, et ceux de Colombie-Britannique sont les plus portés à le faire. Les différences interprovinciales ne semblent pas liées à la présence ou à l'absence de législation de « preuve négative », qui est considérée faciliter la fourniture de ces services par les médecins.

The present study sheds some light on how and why Canadian family physicians offer complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) services to their patients. Our results suggest that organizational settings discourage physicians from offering CAM, while solo clinics are most conducive. Physicians trained in French-language medical schools are less likely than their English-language trained colleagues to offer CAM services, and those in British Columbia are the most likely to do so. Provincial differences do not appear to be related to the presence or absence of “negative proof” legislation that is considered to facilitate CAM provision by physicians.

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