Title

‘The healthcare system is not designed around my needs’ : how healthcare consumers self-integrate conventional and complementary healthcare services

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Grace, S, Bradbury, J, Avila, C & Du Chesne, A 2018, ''The healthcare system is not designed around my needs': how healthcare consumers self-integrate conventional and complementary healthcare services', Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, vol. 32, pp. 151-156.

Published version available from:

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2018.06.009

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Objective

To explore healthcare consumers' experiences of healthcare service integration.

Methods

This phenomenological study comprised three focus groups of 13 participants who were purposively invited to span three broad generations: young adults, middle-aged adults and seniors. Transcripts of focus group recordings were analysed thematically.

Results

Key themes were that: (i) healthcare consumers manage their own healthcare, (ii) healthcare consumers value open, non-judgmental communication with healthcare providers, and (iii) healthcare consumers want flexibility in healthcare services.

Conclusions

Healthcare consumers integrated their own healthcare, including complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and conventional medicine, by researching practitioners and services and by engaging in service and product rating strategies. They moulded available health services around their needs. Without the support of healthcare providers, healthcare integration, knowledge exchange and risk management are limited. A system of healthcare integration that omits CAM fails to meet community needs, policy aims for greater efficiency, and duty of care to healthcare consumers.

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