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Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: How Integrative Medicine Fits

, : Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: How Integrative Medicine Fits. American Journal of Preventive Medicine 49(5 Suppl 3): S230-S240

As a discipline, preventive medicine has traditionally been described to encompass primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention. The fields of preventive medicine and public health share the objectives of promoting general health, preventing disease, and applying epidemiologic techniques to these goals. This paper discusses a conceptual approach between the overlap and potential synergies of integrative medicine principles and practices with preventive medicine in the context of these levels of prevention, acknowledging the relative deficiency of research on the effectiveness of practice-based integrative care. One goal of integrative medicine is to make the widest array of appropriate options available to patients, ultimately blurring the boundaries between conventional and complementary medicine. Both disciplines should be subject to rigorous scientific inquiry so that interventions that are efficacious and effective are systematically distinguished from those that are not. Furthermore, principles of preventive medicine can be infused into prevalent practices in complementary and integrative medicine, promoting public health in the context of more responsible practices. The case is made that an integrative preventive approach involves the responsible use of science with responsiveness to the needs of patients that persist when conclusive data are exhausted, providing a framework to make clinical decisions among integrative therapies.


PMID: 26477898

DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2015.07.019

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