Incorporating integrative healthcare into interprofessional education: What do primary care training programs need?

Audrey J. Brooks, Mary S. Koithan, Ana Marie Lopez, Maryanna Klatt, Jeannie K. Lee, Elizabeth Goldblatt, Irene Sandvold, Patricia Lebensohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The National Center for Integrative Primary Healthcare was established to support the incorporation of competency- and evidence-based Integrative Health (IH) curricula into educational programs in a movement toward interprofessional IH patient care. IH is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person, including all aspects of lifestyle, emphasizes the therapeutic relationship between practitioner and patient, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapies, conventional and complementary. A primary goal of the Center was to design an IH online course appropriate for interprofessional education. A study assessing the potential of and need for incorporating IH into interprofesional education was conducted. A survey was sent to educational programs to identify core IH competencies, curriculum priorities, and implementation barriers. Respondents (N = 422) were from complementary and integrative health (40%), primary care medical residencies (27%), nursing (9%), and pharmacy (9%). Patient-centered care and working interprofessionally were highest rated competencies. Highest rated content included nutrition/diet, patient-provider communication, behavior change, patient-centered care, physical activity and lifestyle counseling. Most (90%) felt it was important to offer IH content during their professional training. Time constraints, budget, and faculty expertise were the top barriers. The results demonstrated substantial interest and need for an interprofessional IH course. Common content areas and core IH competencies were identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-12
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Education and Practice
StatePublished - Mar 2019


  • Interprofessional continuing education
  • Needs assessment
  • Online professional education
  • Team-based education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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