The challenges of facilitating primary healthcare discussions on traditional, complementary and alternative medicine for childhood eczema: Piloting a computerized template

Nicola Robinson, Ava Lorenc, Andrew Falinski, Ricky Banarsee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Healthcare practitioners (HCPs) experience barriers to changing routine consultation practice. Communication and recording of traditional, complementary and alternative medicines (TCAM) is inadequate. This pilot study explored the challenges of implementing a computerized template in primary care to facilitate communication on TCAM for paediatric eczema.

METHODS: A computerized template to record TCAM use, with links to evidence-based TCAM databases, was designed, based on qualitative research with patients and HCPs. Four London general practices implemented the template integrated with usual practice. Twelve focus groups during the 6 month study period explored HCPs' knowledge, communication and information sources regarding TCAM and perceived barriers to template implementation.

RESULTS: HCPs were initially enthusiastic about discussing TCAM, for improving communication and understanding patient's choices, but the template was used in under a third of consultations. HCPs were surprised at low TCAM use (10%) and lack of correlation with eczema or ethnicity. Reported barriers were time and remembering, due to busy, target-driven practice.

CONCLUSION: HCPs recognize the importance of discussing TCAM use for childhood eczema, and potential benefits for HCP-patient communication.

PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Future tools to facilitate TCAM discussion should prioritise use of existing IT systems and address barriers to use, especially lack of time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-24
Number of pages8
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Volume89
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communication
  • Complementary Therapies
  • Computers
  • Eczema
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interviews as Topic
  • London
  • Male
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Pilot Projects
  • Primary Health Care
  • Qualitative Research
  • Referral and Consultation

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