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The objective of this study was to develop a guide for academic …


Biology Articles » Health and Medicine » Alternative Remedies » Integrating complementary and alternative medicine into academic medical centers: Experience and perceptions of nine leading centers in North America » Methods

Methods
- Integrating complementary and alternative medicine into academic medical centers: Experience and perceptions of nine leading centers in North America

Sites were chosen on the basis of their reputation for excellence in a minimum of two of three areas of interest: research, clinical care, and education. Using snowball sampling, we queried North American leaders in the field of integrative medicine, and the key stakeholders at each of the initial sites visited, to identify potential study sites, until no new sites were identified [13]. Interviewees were chosen on the basis of their role at the participating center, and represented leadership from all facets of the program (research, clinical care, education, and administration). A minimum of two investigators attended each site visit (and in three instances, three investigators attended). One investigator attended all site visits (SV). At each centre, questions were asked about the clinical, research, educational and administrative aspects of the integrative medicine program. As well, the participants were interviewed with regards to critical factors for success regarding the team, its resources, structure and process. A summary of the site visit interview guide is provided in Table 1 and a complete version can be obtained by contacting one of the authors (SV).

During the interviews, field notes were recorded independently by the investigators to ensure reliability. Field notes included both the content of answers to the questions in Table 1, as well as details about the environment and interaction between practitioners observed during the visit. Team meetings were held after each visit to reach consensus on the information recorded and to ensure that it was as complete as possible. Interviews were not audio-taped because many took place as part of a "tour" of the site and background noise made recording difficult. Content analysis techniques were used to identify key issues that emerged from the field notes [14,15]. These were discussed at team meetings until consensus was reached. We received permission from each site to make the content of this manuscript public.


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