The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by Canadian occupational therapists.Occup Ther Int. 2009; 16(1):6-24.OT
The purpose of this study was to describe the proportion of occupational therapists currently using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), or providing referrals to CAM practitioners, as well as the purposes of use/referral in one Canadian region. A questionnaire survey on CAM was sent through e-mail and post to 1123 Canadian occupational therapists. Content, construct and face validity, as well as response, desirability/social, and instrument bias were considered and controlled through study design. A response rate of 17.1% was achieved. Overall, 31.2% of respondents have used at least one form of CAM, with 5.5% using > 1 form of CAM. Purposes for use focused on the treatment of symptoms. Reasons preventing CAM's use included lack of training (82.4%), interest (23%) and/or supporting evidence (22.3%). Considerations of incorporating CAM into occupational therapy focused on a client-centred and holistic approach to treatment (43-63.3%), ranking above legal/employer-related aspects (43-43.6%). Elaborations of negative responses indicated that further supporting evidence on forms of CAM and related research may result in changes of opinion. Therefore, further research on the use of CAM is needed, allowing for evidence-based decisions to be made.