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Comparison of Patient Health History Questionnaires Used in General Internal and Family Medicine, Integrative Medicine, and Complementary and Alternative Medicine Clinics

Comparison of Patient Health History Questionnaires Used in General Internal and Family Medicine, Integrative Medicine, and Complementary and Alternative Medicine Clinics

Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 23(5): 385-393

Health history questionnaires (HHQs) are a set of self-administered questions completed by patients prior to a clinical encounter. Despite widespread use, minimal research has evaluated the content of HHQs used in general internal medicine and family medicine (GIM/FM), integrative medicine, and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM; chiropractic, naturopathic, and Traditional Chinese Medicine [TCM]) clinics. Integrative medicine and CAM claim greater emphasis on well-being than does GIM/FM. This study investigated whether integrative medicine and CAM clinics' HHQs include more well-being content and otherwise differ from GIM/FM HHQs. HHQs were obtained from GIM/FM (n = 9), integrative medicine (n = 11), naturopathic medicine (n = 5), chiropractic (n = 4), and TCM (n = 7) clinics in California. HHQs were coded for presence of medical history (chief complaint, past medical history, social history, family history, surgeries, hospitalizations, medications, allergies, review of systems), health maintenance procedures (immunization, screenings), and well-being components (nutrition, exercise, stress, sleep, spirituality). In HHQs of GIM/FM clinics, the average number of well-being components was 1.4 (standard deviation [SD], 1.4) compared with 4.0 (SD, 1.1) for integrative medicine (p < 0.01), 3.2 (SD, 2.1) for naturopathic medicine (p = 0.04), 2.0 (SD, 1.4) for chiropractic (p = 0.54), and 2.0 (SD, 1.5) for TCM (p = 0.47). In HHQs of GIM/FM clinics, the average number of medical history components was 6.4 (SD, 1.9) compared with 8.3 (SD, 1.2) for integrative medicine (p = 0.01), 9.0 (SD, 0) for naturopathic medicine (p = 0.01), 7.1 (SD, 2.8) for chiropractic (p = 0.58), and 7.1 (SD, 1.7) for TCM (p = 0.41). Integrative and naturopathic medicine HHQs included significantly more well-being and medical history components than did GIM/FM HHQs. Further investigation is warranted to determine the optimal HHQ content to support the clinical and preventive health goals of general internal medicine, family medicine, integrative medicine, and CAM practices.

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Accession: 059530450

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PMID: 28068145

DOI: 10.1089/acm.2016.0281

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