Section on Integrative Medicine

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Member Survey Summary

The Section on Integrative Medicine (SOIM) had the opportunity to complete a member survey on from August to October 2005. There were 35 responses with an estimated 50% response rate.

When respondents were asked from where they first learned about the SOIM, 46% (16) learned from a colleague in the section, 14.4% (5) from AAP OnCall e-mail, 5.7% (2) from AAP News, and the remaining 34.3% (12) from an integrative medicine organization (eg, American Holistic Medical Association, International Pediatric Integrative Medicine Network). The majority of respondents (62%) are members of other AAP committees and sections, including the Committee on Children with Disabilities, the Councils on Clinical Informatics and Technology and Community Pediatrics, and the Sections on Adolescent Health, Breastfeeding, Developmental/Behavioral Pediatrics, Epidemiology, International Health, and Young Physicians.

The overwhelming majority of respondents (84.4%) were interested in the SOIM objectives to offer education for pediatricians, patients, and families. 68.8% also were interested in clinical models of effective integrative practice; 59.4% wanted more information on research; 43.8% wanted more advocacy for reimbursement, and 25% were interested in collaborating with other clinicians who care for children. There were two suggestions for the SOCIM to offer evidence-based updates on therapies and to consider collaborating with non-conventional disciplines.

When asked in what format they would like to receive complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) CME, the majority of respondents (81.2%) preferred review articles. 65.6% preferred traditional CME at separate pediatric integrative medicine conferences or similar venues; 62.5% wanted information on the Internet; 53.1% traditional CME at the annual AAP National Conference and Exhibition; 37.5% wanted CME at the annual Pediatric Academic Societies conference; and a smaller percentage preferred web seminars (28.1%), books (21.9%), and teleconferences (12.5%).

Most respondents were very to moderately knowledgeable about various SOIM therapies such as herbal remedies, dietary/nutritional supplements, therapeutic exercise, massage, acupuncture, mind-body therapies, and spiritual healing/prayer. The majority of respondents knew less about environmental therapies (ie, magnets, crystals, music, etc), therapeutic touch/Reiki, and homeopathy. The majority of respondents want more information on most therapies, except chiropractic and spiritual healing.

Respondents were asked to select multiple section benefits that they plan to use. The majority of respondents plan to use the following benefits: discussion listserv (71.9%), CME (71.9%), networking opportunities (68.8%), web information (68.8%), the newsletter (62.5%), and the announcement listserv (62.5%).

When respondents were asked to select multiple SOIM activities in which they would like be involved, the majority wanted to participate in the SOCIM planning and/or presenting (63.3%). Only 23% of respondents were not interested in becoming involved at this time.

Approximately 75% of respondents spend most of their time in other specialty/subspecialty areas, and most are employed at a medical school or parent university (40.6%). Over 25% are employed in various practice structures, and 12.5% were employed at non-government hospitals and 3.1% at non-profit community health centers. Several respondents were training or conducting research in pediatric integrative medicine. When asked to describe their primary practice/position location, 40.6% were in urban, not inner city, 31.2% were in the inner city, and 28.1% were in the suburbs. No one's practice setting was located in a rural area. Finally, roughly 70% of the membership is female, and most respondents were born between 1955 and 1970.

The SOIM Executive Committee has already referred to this very useful information in developing CME and planning future activities for the section.