Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)


Physician Assistant Studies


Integrative medicine; primary care; complementary therapies; alternative therapies; patient-centered care


Integrative medicine (IM) is an approach to care that puts the patient at the center and addresses the full range of physical, emotional, mental, social, spiritual and environmental influences that affect a person’s health (Rakel, 2017). Commonly, integrative medicine is associated with complementary and alternative medicine therapies (CAM). These are two separate entities. CAM is one of the modalities used in integrative medicine.

The review of the literature on IM analyzed studies in primary care settings in all parts of the world. Definitions of IM and CAM are evaluated. Defining what IM is and how to incorporate this approach in an evidence-based manner to primary care is discussed in this project. Patient and provider’s perceptions of their experiences are examined. Study outcomes include positive experiences in IM primary care clinics, reduction in opiate use with CAM and group medical visits (GMV), and resident experiences of incorporating IM into future medical school curriculums.

More studies need to be done, this is a somewhat new area for research, but is an important aspect of primary care as more patients are relying on these CAM therapies than ever before. Difficulties in methods for evaluating IM in primary care such as the questionnaires are in need of revisions to account for healthy populations.