Physicians' and patients' attitudes toward manual medicine: Implications for continuing medical education


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Abstract

Introduction:Manual medicine (MM) is a physical modality infrequently used in primary care clinics. This study examines primary care physicians' experience with and attitudes toward the use of MM in the primary care setting, as well as patients' experience with and attitudes toward MM.Methods:Survevs were distributed to a convenience sample of physicians (54.3% response rate) attending a 1-week primary care continuing medical education (CME) conference in Kentucky. Similar surveys were also mailed to a random sample of primary care patients (35.3% response rate) living in a service region in which most conference attendees practiced.Results:Similar responses were obtained from physicians and patients. A majority (81% and 76%, respectively) of physicians and patients felt that MM was safe, and over half(56% of physicians and 59% of patients) felt that MM should be available in the primary care setting. Although less than half (40%) of the physicians reported any educational exposure to MM and less than one-quarter (20%) have administered MM in their practice, most (71%) respondents endorsed desiring more instruction in MM. The majority of those seeking additional educational exposure (56%) were willing to pay for MM training that included CME credit.Discussion:This survey suggests that primary care physicians feel that there is currently insufficient education in MM. The majority of physicians and patients feel that MM is beneficial, safe, and appropriate for use in a primary care setting. Thus, there may be a rising demand for quality instruction in MM from physical medicine doctors and other licensed therapists who currently practice MM.

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