Integrative medicine experience in the U.S. Department of Defense

Richard P. Petri, Roxana E. Delgado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Over the past 15 years, the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) services, currently described as integrative medicine (IM) when used together with conventional medicine , has continued to rise in the United States. The trends seen in the civilian population are mirrored within the U.S. Military. Objective: A survey was conducted to show the change in the prevalence of integrative medicine services, budgeting of those services, and ongoing research in IM within Department of Defense (DoD) medical treatment facilities (MTFs) from 2005 through 2009. Materials and Methods: Design: The Deputy Chief of Clinical Services or Service equivalent was contacted at fourteen selected DoD MTFs. Comprehensive structured telephone interviews were conducted using a formatted 20-item questionnaire. The questionnaire design was of a mixed model with open and closed formats as well as dichotomous yes/no questions. The questions covered the subject areas of available services, budgeting, and research. The initial survey was conducted in 2005 with a follow-up survey conducted in 2009. Setting: This survey involved DoD MTFs. Main Outcome Measures: The surveys were conducted to determine the prevalence of IM services within selected DoD facilities. Results: There was a steady increase in the number of IM services available in the DoD MTFs from 2005 through 2009. Acupuncture, biofeedback, nutritional counseling, and spiritual healing were the most prevalent IM services in 2009. Funding sources changed from central funding (Offices of the Surgeon General) to Congressional and local funding. Conclusions: It is essential that the DoD medical community provides safe and effective treatments by providing oversight of IM services, collaboration for research, credentialing of practitioners, and establishing educational programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-334
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Acupuncture
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Alternative Medicine
  • Comparative Study
  • Complementary Therapies/Utilization
  • Department Of Defense
  • Integrative Medicine
  • Military Personnel/Statistics and Numerical Data
  • Prevalence
  • Questionnaires
  • Utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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