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“I’ve Only Just Heard About It”: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Knowledge and Educational Needs of Clinical Psychologists in Indonesia

School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia 4072, Australia
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 333; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070333
Received: 18 April 2019 / Revised: 25 June 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 3 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Complementary and Integrative Medicine)
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Abstract

Background and objectives: The inadequate knowledge of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among health professionals may put their clients at risk because clients would then find information about CAM from unreliable sources. Clinical psychologists (CPs), as health professionals, also have the opportunity to provide psychoeducation on the latest scientific CAM research for their clients. The current study aimed to explore knowledge and educational needs regarding CAM among CPs in Indonesia because previous studies on exploring CAM knowledge and educational needs regarding CAM were primarily conducted in Western countries. Materials and Methods: Data were collected through semi-structured face-to-face interviews with 43 CPs in public health centers (PHCs) in Indonesia. Most interviews were conducted at the PHCs where the participants worked and lasted for 55 minutes on average. The interview recordings were transcribed and were analyzed using deductive thematic analysis. Results: Five main themes emerged within participants’ responses regarding CAM knowledge and educational needs. First (CAM understanding), participants’ responses ranged from those with little or no prior knowledge of CAM treatments and uses, to those with much greater familiarity. Second (source of knowledge), participants’ access ranged widely in terms of references, from popular to scientific literature. Third (why is it important?), participants identified CAM as an essential part of Indonesian culture and considered it therefore crucial to have this cultural knowledge. Fourth (the challenges and what is needed?), the challenges for improving participants’ knowledge came from personal and institutional levels. Fifth (what and how to learn?), participants advised that only CAM treatments that fit in brief psychotherapy sessions should be introduced in professional training. Conclusions: This qualitative study discovered that CAM was neither well-known nor understood widely. Participants advised that professional associations and health institutions should work together in enhancing knowledge of CAM and incorporating CAM education into psychology education. View Full-Text
Keywords: complementary and alternative medicine; integrative medicine; knowledge; training and education; psychology; mental health; qualitative complementary and alternative medicine; integrative medicine; knowledge; training and education; psychology; mental health; qualitative
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Liem, A. “I’ve Only Just Heard About It”: Complementary and Alternative Medicine Knowledge and Educational Needs of Clinical Psychologists in Indonesia. Medicina 2019, 55, 333.

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