Research poster presentation 5 & 6


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Erica McIntyre: Attitudes, subjective norms and barriers towards herbal medicine use: Why and how do individuals with anxiety use herbal medicines?
Worldwide herbal medicines are one of the most commonly used alternatives to conventional medicines (Joos, Glassen, & Musselmann, 2012). Many Australians use herbal medicines with 23.3% of adults reporting using these medicines in 2005 (Xue, Zhang, Lin, Da Costa, & Story, 2007). In addition, many Australians experience anxiety with anxiety disorders being the most prevalent group of mental disorders in Australia (Slade, Johnston, Browne, Andrews, & Whiteford, 2009). Despite the high prevalence of anxiety in the community treatment options are not always ideal as there is often dissatisfaction with evidence-based treatment options (Baldwin, Waldman, & Allgulander, 2011; Mitte, 2005). This dissatisfaction may be one factor that contributes to the decision to use herbal medicines (Ravven, Zimmerman, Schultz, & Wallace, 2011). Ravven et al. (2011) reported that those diagnosed with an anxiety disorder were significantly more likely to use herbal medicines for their disorder than those not meeting the criteria for a disorder. The finding of increased herbal medicine use in those with anxiety has also been supported in other research (Bystritsky et al., 2012; Ravven et al., 2011; Roy-Byrne et al., 2005), however no literature was found that has attempted to understand this behaviour within a theoretical model that considers the psychosocial factors in an Australian context.

Given the lack of research in this area the proposed study seeks to understand herbal medicine use in adults who experience anxiety in Australia. Furthermore the results from this study will contribute to the development of a health behaviour model based on the theory of planned behaviour (Ajzen, 1991) that seeks to explain the attitudes, beliefs and barriers associated with herbal medicine use.


Dr Matthew Leach: What do we know about the complementary medicine workforce?
Despite the increasing demand and need for CAM services in developed countries, little is known about the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) workforce in terms of supply and composition; and apart from a few limited workforce surveys, little has been reported in the public domain. Without knowledge of the composition of the CAM workforce, it is difficult to (1) understand the diversity and demographics of the CAM workforce, (2) meet the training and continuing education needs of the evolving CAM workforce, and (3) ensure the provision of a competent CAM workforce to service the needs of consumers. In recognising these concerns, the presentation describes the CAM workforce across four developed countries (Australia, US, UK and Canada) in order to better inform health workforce and health services planning and perchance inform debate or future public health and primary care policy.

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