Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 294381, 8 pages
Research Article

Infectious Diseases Physicians’ Attitudes and Practices Related to Complementary and Integrative Medicine: Results of a National Survey

1Department of Medicine, University of Maryland, 29 South Greene Street, Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
2Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA
3Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Maryland, 520 W. Lombard Street, East Hall Room 204, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
4Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, University of California, 1545 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA

Received 8 May 2013; Accepted 18 June 2013

Academic Editor: Arndt Büssing

Copyright © 2013 Kalpana D. Shere-Wolfe 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.


Background. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and integrative medicine (IM) modalities are widely used by patients, including those with infectious diseases (ID). Methods. One thousand randomly selected ID practitioners were surveyed. The survey was divided into domains related to familiarity and recommendation, beliefs and attitudes, and use of CAM/IM modalities. Results. The response rate was 31%. ID physicians were most familiar with vitamin and mineral supplementation (83%), massage (80%), acupuncture (79%), chiropractic (77%), yoga (74%), and herbal medicine (72%). ID physicians most recommended vitamin and mineral supplementation (80%) and massage (62%). Yoga, meditation, and acupuncture were recommended by 52%, 45%, and 46%, respectively. Drug interactions, clinical research, and knowledge of CAM/IM modalities were factors that were considered a major influence. Almost 80% of respondents indicated an interest in IM versus 11% for CAM. Most respondents (75%) felt that IM modalities are useful, and more than 50% believed that they could directly affect the immune system or disease process. Conclusion. ID physicians expressed a markedly greater interest for IM versus CAM. They appear to be familiar and willing to recommend some CAM/IM modalities and see a role for these in the management of certain infectious diseases. Data regarding clinical efficacy and safety appear to be important factors.