More Hospitals Offering Alternative Therapy Services

The above headline comes from a September 8, 2011 Los Angeles Times article. The article begins by stating, “Alternative therapies, including meditation, relaxation training, homeopathy and chiropractic care are being offered at more hospitals, mostly in response to patient requests.”

The article was based upon results of a survey from 714 hospitals conducted by the Samueli Institute, a non-profit research organization that investigates healing-oriented practices, and released by Health Forum, a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association (AHA).

Results of the survey showed that 42% of the hospitals responding to the survey said they offer one or more of what the study called “alternative therapies”, which included meditation, relaxation training, homeopathy and chiropractic care. This percentage was up from 37% in a previous study conducted in 2007, and shows an increasing trend from 2005 when only 26.5% of hospitals offered such services.

Nancy Foster, vice president for quality and patient safety at the American Hospital Association, explained the results by stating, “The rise of complementary and alternative medicine reflects the continued effort on the part of hospitals and caregivers to broaden the vital services they provide to patients and communities.” She continued, “Hospitals have long known that what they do to treat and heal involves more than just medications and procedures”.

The Los Angeles Times article concluded with a quote, “Today’s patients have better access to health information and are demanding more personalized care,” said Sita Ananth, one of the study’s authors and director of knowledge services for the Samueli Institute. “The survey results reinforce the fact that patients want the best that both conventional and alternative medicine can offer.”

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