An examination of the clinical practices and perceptions of professional herbalists providing patient care concurrently with conventional medical practice in Australia

Casey, Mavourneen, Adams, Jon and Sibbritt, David (2008) An examination of the clinical practices and perceptions of professional herbalists providing patient care concurrently with conventional medical practice in Australia. Complementary Therapies In Medicine, 16 4: 228-232.


Author Casey, Mavourneen
Adams, Jon
Sibbritt, David
Title An examination of the clinical practices and perceptions of professional herbalists providing patient care concurrently with conventional medical practice in Australia
Journal name Complementary Therapies In Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0965-2299
1873-6963
Publication date 2008-08
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.ctim.2007.06.002
Volume 16
Issue 4
Start page 228
End page 232
Total pages 5
Place of publication Edinburgh ; New York
Publisher Churchill Livingstone
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Subject 1104 Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Formatted abstract Objective
To examine the clinical practices and perceptions of herbalists providing patient care concurrently with conventional medical practice.

Method

A postal survey was sent to all full members of the National Herbalists’ Association of Australia (NHAA). There were 649 members in practice at the time of the survey and the total response rate was 58.2%.

Results

Most of the patients who visit professional herbalists seek care for chronic conditions have been medically diagnosed and continue to consult a general practitioner (GP). Study findings indicate that many patients who visit herbalists are taking herbal and pharmaceutical medicines concurrently. Therapists reported a high rate of referral to GPs for medical diagnosis, treatment and/or prescription. The majority of herbalists also routinely include a pharmaceutical case history as part of their consultation and patients are encouraged to inform their GPs if they are taking any herbal therapies. The majority of herbalists reported a need for closer collaboration and cooperation with the medical community in the future.

Conclusion

Herbalists in Australia are fully aware of the value of medical diagnosis and inter-referrals, are well informed about patient medications and require a closer working relationship with the medical community. Further research is needed to investigate potential interactions between herbal and pharmaceutical medicines to maintain high safety standards for the public.
Keyword Herbal medicine
Prescription
Concurrent conventional medical practice
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences -- Publications
School of Population Health Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 25 Mar 2009, 11:28:12 EST by Geraldine Fitzgerald on behalf of School of Population Health