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September 2022

N Z Med J. 1988 Nov; 101(857): 766-8.

Complementary medicine and the general practitioner: a survey of general practitioners in the Wellington area.

Hadley CM.

Department of Health, Wellington.

A questionnaire was sent to 226 general practitioners in the Wellington region to determine the relationship between the general practitioner and complementary medicine. A 77% response rate was achieved. Twenty-four % of doctors had received training and 54% wanted further training in a complementary therapy; 27% currently practised at least one therapy. The majority of doctors (94%) knew of complementary practitioners in their locality; 77% indicated they referred to other medical practitioners for complementary therapies and 80% to nonmedical practitioners. Acupuncture, hypnosis and chiropractic were the most popular therapies. The general practitioner's role was perceived as ranging from comprehensive provider of both conventional and complementary medicine to selective practitioner of some options. It is concluded that complementary medicine is of considerable interest to general practitioners; there is demand for more training and information to be made available for doctors and for better referral networks to be developed between the practitioners.

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