Complement Ther Med 2002 (Sep); 10 (3): 141–147
Schmidt K, Jacobs PA, Barton A
Department of Complementary Medicine,
School of Sport and Health Sciences,
University of Exeter,
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OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether there is a difference in general practitioners' attitudes towards CAM in the UK and Germany.
STUDY DESIGN: A descriptive questionnaire was developed and sent to 97 GPs in the UK and 99 GPs in Germany.
RESULTS: The overall response rate was 68%. German GPs showed a (non-significant) overall more positive attitude towards CAM than did British GPs. British GPs made more referrals to complementary practitioners. The most popular CAM therapies that UK GPs referred their patients to were chiropractic treatment, acupuncture and osteopathy. German GPs referred their patients mainly to acupuncture treatment, chiropractic treatment and herbal medicine. A significantly higher number of German GPs reported having practised as a CAM practitioner before and having personally used CAM themselves. Seventy percent of British GPs and 76% of German GPs thought it is safe to prescribe complementary medicine and therapies to patients.
CONCLUSIONS: There are small national differences in referring patients to various CAM modalities. Both nations have an overall positive attitude toward and a high interest in CAM. Lack of scientific evidence and information on training opportunities were important points that were continuously raised by GPs in both countries.