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1.  Practitioners' validation of framework of team-oriented practice models in integrative health care: a mixed methods study 
Background
Biomedical and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) academic and clinical communities have yet to arrive at a common understanding of what Integrative healthcare (IHC) is and how it is practiced. The Models of Team Health Care Practice (MTHP) framework is a conceptual representation of seven possible practice models of health care within which teams of practitioners could elect to practice IHC, from an organizational perspective. The models range from parallel practice at one end to integrative practice at the other end. Models differ theoretically, based on a series of hypotheses. To date, this framework has not been empirically validated. This paper aims to test nine hypotheses in an attempt to validate the MTHP framework.
Methods
Secondary analysis of two studies carried out by the same research team was conducted, using a mixed methods approach. Data were collected from both biomedical and CAM practitioners working in Canadian IHC clinics. The secondary analysis is based on 21 participants in the qualitative study and 87 in the quantitative study.
Results
We identified three groups among the initial seven models in the MTHP framework. Differences between practitioners working in different practice models were found chiefly between those who thought that their clinics represented an integrative model, versus those who perceived their clinics to represent a parallel or consultative model. Of the scales used in the analysis, only the process of information sharing varied significantly across all three groups of models.
Conclusions
The MTHP framework should be used with caution to guide the evaluation of the impact of team-oriented practice models on both subjective and objective outcomes of IHC. Groups of models may be more useful, because clinics may not "fit" under a single model when more than one model of collaboration occurs at a single site. The addition of a hypothesis regarding power relationships between practitioners should be considered. Further validation is required so that integrative practice models are well described with appropriate terminology, thus facilitating the work of health care practitioners, managers, policy makers and researchers.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-10-289
PMCID: PMC2974681  PMID: 20942973
2.  The Canadian Natural Health Products (NHP) regulations: industry perceptions and compliance factors 
Background
The use of natural health products, such as vitamins, minerals, and herbs, by Canadians has been increasing with time. As a result of consumer concern about the quality of these products, the Canadian Department of Health created the Natural Health Products (NHP) Regulations. The new Canadian regulations raise questions about whether and how the NHP industry will be able to comply and what impact they will have on market structure. The objectives of this study were to explore who in the interview sample is complying with Canada's new NHP Regulations (i.e., submitted product licensing applications on time); and explore the factors that affect regulatory compliance.
Methods
Twenty key informant interviews were conducted with employees of the NHP industry. The structured interviews focused on the level of satisfaction with the Regulations and perceptions of compliance and non-compliance. Interviews were tape recorded and then transcribed verbatim. Data were independently coded, using qualitative content analysis. Team meetings were held after every three to four interviews to discuss emerging themes.
Results
The major finding of this study is that most (17 out of 20) companies interviewed were beginning to comply with the new regulatory regime. The factors that contribute to likelihood of regulatory compliance were: perceptions and knowledge of the regulations and business size.
Conclusion
The Canadian case can be instructive for other countries seeking to implement regulatory standards for natural health products. An unintended consequence of the Canadian NHP regulations may be the exit of smaller firms, leading to industry consolidation.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-6-63
PMCID: PMC1524757  PMID: 16734916
3.  Integrating complementary and alternative medicine into academic medical centers: Experience and perceptions of nine leading centers in North America 
Background
Patients across North America are using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) with increasing frequency as part of their management of many different health conditions. The objective of this study was to develop a guide for academic health sciences centers that may wish to consider starting an integrative medicine program.
Methods
We queried North American leaders in the field of integrative medicine to identify initial sites. Key stakeholders at each of the initial sites visited were then asked to identify additional potential study sites (snowball sampling), until no new sites were identified. We conducted structured interviews to identify critical factors associated with success and failure in each of four domains: research, education, clinical care, and administration. During the interviews, field notes were recorded independently by at least two investigators. Team meetings were held after each visit to reach consensus on the information recorded and to ensure that it was as complete as possible. Content analysis techniques were used to identify key themes that emerged from the field notes.
Results
We identified ten leading North American integrative medical centers, and visited nine during 2002–2003. The centers visited suggested that the initiation of an integrative medicine program requires a significant initial outlay of funding and a motivated "champion". The centers had important information to share regarding credentialing, medico-legal issues and billing for clinical programs; identifying researchers and research projects for a successful research program; and strategies for implementing flexible educational initiatives and establishing a functional administrative structure.
Conclusion
Important lessons can be learned from academic integrative programs already in existence. Such initiatives are timely and feasible in a variety of different ways and in a variety of settings.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-5-78
PMCID: PMC1343546  PMID: 16368000
4.  From parallel practice to integrative health care: a conceptual framework 
Background
"Integrative health care" has become a common term to describe teams of health care providers working together to provide patient care. However this term has not been well-defined and likely means many different things to different people. The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework for describing, comparing and evaluating different forms of team-oriented health care practices that have evolved in Western health care systems.
Discussion
Seven different models of team-oriented health care practice are illustrated in this paper: parallel, consultative, collaborative, coordinated, multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and integrative. Each of these models occupies a position along the proposed continuum from the non-integrative to fully integrative approach they take to patient care. The framework is developed around four key components of integrative health care practice: philosophy/values; structure, process and outcomes.
Summary
This framework can be used by patients and health care practitioners to determine what styles of practice meet their needs and by policy makers, healthcare managers and researchers to document the evolution of team practices over time. This framework may also facilitate exploration of the relationship between different practice models and health outcomes.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-4-15
PMCID: PMC459233  PMID: 15230977

Results 1-4 (4)