Introducing integrative primary health care to an interprofessional audience: Feasibility and impact of an asynchronous online course

Audrey J. Brooks, Mei Kuang Chen, Elizabeth Goldblatt, Maryanna Klatt, Benjamin Kligler, Mary S. Koithan, Mary Jo Kreitzer, Jeannie K. Lee, Ana Marie Lopez, Victoria Maizes, Irene Sandvold, Douglas Taren, Patricia Lebensohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Although there is mounting clinical and cost-effectiveness evidence supporting integrative healthcare (IH), a significant knowledge gap hinders widespread adoption by primary care professionals. Intervention: Based on IH competencies developed by an interprofessional team and a needs assessment, a 32-h online interprofessional IH course, Foundations in Integrative Health, was developed. Trainees learn to conduct an IH assessment and how patients are assessed and treated from the diverse professions in integrative primary care. Methods: The course was pilot-tested with educational program trainees, faculty and clinical staff at graduate level primary care training programs (primary care residencies, nursing, pharmacy, public health, behavioral health, and licensed complementary and IH programs). Outcome measures: Prior to and following the course, participants completed an IH knowledge test, an IH efficacy self-assessment, and validated measures of IH attitudes, interprofessional learning, provider empathy, patient involvement, resiliency, self-care, wellness behaviors, and wellbeing. Evaluation surveys were administered following each unit and the course. Results: Almost one-half (n = 461/982, 47%) completed the course. Pre/post course improvements in IH knowledge, IH self-efficacy, IH attitudes, interprofessional learning, provider empathy, resiliency, self-care, several wellness behaviors, and wellbeing were observed. The course was positively evaluated with most (93%) indicating interest in applying IH principles and that the course enhanced their educational experience (92%). Conclusion: This study demonstrates the feasibility and effectiveness of a multi-site, online curriculum for introducing IH to a diverse group of primary care professionals. Primary care training programs have the ability to offer an interprofessional, IH curriculum with limited on-site faculty expertise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-400
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • Integrative health
  • Interprofessional education
  • Online education, healthcare provider wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analysis
  • General Nursing
  • Chiropractics
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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