Orientation of Dental Professionals in India towards Integrative Medicine: A Cross-Sectional Survey ZC60-ZC62
Dr. Balasubramanian Madhan,
C-03, Guna Jeno Appt, Aziz Nagar, Puducherry – 605010, India.
Introduction: There is a growing demand on our health care system, including Dentistry, to shift from a bio-medical approach to Integrative model of care. The attitudes of health professionals towards Integrative Medicine (IM) are an important factor that influences this transition.
Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the orientation of the dental professionals in India towards the principles and practice of Integrative Medicine.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted on 286 dental faculty and postgraduate students from three dental schools in India. The participants voluntarily and anonymously completed the ‘Integrative Medicine-30’ questionnaire, a 30 item self-report instrument that measures the health care provider’s orientation towards Integrative Medicine in five subscales. Data analysis included summary statistics and intergroup comparisons by gender and professional status with independent samples Mann-Whitney U test.
Results: The overall orientation of the dental professionals towards IM was almost neutral. While the use of learning resources on Complementary and Alternative Medicine was lower, they showed a more positive orientation towards patient-centred care. Compared to postgraduate students of Dentistry, the dental faculty were more oriented towards IM (median score of 82 vs. 79.5, p<0.01), especially in terms of learning from alternate paradigms (14 vs. 12, p<0.01) and safety of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (13 vs. 12, p<0.01). Females scored better than males both in terms of overall orientation (82 vs. 78, p<0.01) and towards patient-centred care (12 vs. 11, p<0.001).
Conclusion: The results highlight the impending need to improve the orientation of dental professionals in India towards the principles and practice of IM.