Exploring adolescent complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) use in Canada
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A qualitative study using a grounded theory approach investigated adolescents' perceptions about complementary/alternative medicine (CAM) use. Adolescents, attending a clinic at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, were interviewed after receiving ethics approval. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews. The decision of adolescents to use CAM was based within the context of their world and how it shaped influencing factors. Factors that influenced adolescents' decision to use CAM were identified as certain personality traits, culture, media, social contacts and the ability of CAM providers to develop therapeutic relationships. The barriers and benefits of CAM use influenced evaluation of choices. The importance of barriers in limiting freedom of choice in health care decisions should be investigated by practitioners as they provide care to adolescents. Health care planning for integrative models of care requires determining the "right" blend of expertise by knowing interprofessional boundaries, determining mixed skill sets to provide the essential services and ensuring appropriate regulation that allows practitioners to use their full scope of practice.
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