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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 743832, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/743832
Research Article

Active Student Participation May Enhance Patient Centeredness: Patients' Assessments of the Clinical Education Ward for Integrative Medicine

1Integrated Curriculum for Anthroposophic Medicine (ICURAM), Center for Integrative Medicine, Integrative and Anthroposophic Medicine, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, School of Medicine, Alfred-Herrhausen-StraBe 50, 58448 Witten, Germany
2Center for Educational Research, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, 58448 Witten, Germany
3Department of Internal Medicine, Clinical Education Ward for Integrative Medicine (CEWIM), Gemeinschaftskrankenhaus Herdecke, 58313 Herdecke, Germany
4Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, 58448 Witten, Germany
5Department of Early Rehabilitation, Gemeinschaftskrankenhaus Herdecke, 58313 Herdecke, Germany

Received 1 September 2012; Revised 7 February 2013; Accepted 14 February 2013

Academic Editor: Thomas Ostermann

Copyright © 2013 Christian Scheffer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objectives. To examine the impact of active student participation on quality of care in an integrative inpatient setting. Methods. Over a two-year period, we surveyed all patients treated on the Clinical Education Ward for Integrative Medicine (CEWIM), where final-year medical students are integrated into an internal medicine ward complementing conventional medicine with anthroposophic medicine. Patients treated on the regular wards of the same internal medicine department served as the control group (CG). General quality of care was studied with the Picker Inpatient Questionnaire, physician empathy with the Consultation and Relational Empathy measure, and patient enablement with the Patient Enablement Index. ANCOVA was used to control for covariates while examining significant differences between both patient groups. Results. Comparison of the CG wards and the CEWIM revealed no significant differences in medical treatment success. The CEWIM, however, achieved better results for physician-patient interaction, physician empathy, and patient enablement. Eighty Percent of the CEWIM patients rated student participation as positively impacting quality of care. Conclusion. Our results indicate that incorporating students in an integrative healthcare setting may result in greater patient centeredness. Further studies are needed to determine whether this is due to organizational advantages, students' empathic activity, the impact of teaching, or learner-teacher interaction.