Communication with the public is a critical component of integrative medicine reaching its full potential and impact. This paper provides context for the significance of this issue. Specifically, discussions include public views of current medical practice, use of integrative medicine including attention to racial and ethnic matters, public views of taking more responsibility and partnering with care providers, and public communications strategies for integrative medicine. The paper explores the roles that health and wellness stakeholders can play in building an improved communications infrastructure and process among them, including physicians, other health care professionals, integrative medicine practitioners, academic institutions, and health care consumers. Several recommendations are provided that highlight opportunities for enhanced public communications, in areas including health information surveys, health services research, professional education and training, provider collaboration, and media relations. The authors argue that the success of a campaign designed to educate consumers and providers on the benefits of integrative medicine is contingent on a standardized definition, a commitment to overcome historical barriers to collaboration among providers, and a respective review of what has already been done to forge consensus for communications among industry stakeholders. Once this phase of the process has been completed, specific pathway opportunities for enhanced communications can effectively be leveraged.
Bauer-Wu, Susan, Mary Ruggie, and Matt Russell. "Communicating with the Public about Integrative Medicine." Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public, Washington, D.C., February 25-27, 2009.