Employee use and perceived benefit of a complementary and alternative medicine wellness clinic at a major military hospital: Evaluation of a pilot program

Alaine D. Duncan, Janet M. Liechty, Cathy Miller, Gail Chinoy, Richard Ricciardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: The objectives of this study were to examine the feasibility of a weekly on-site complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) wellness clinic for staff at a military hospital, and to describe employees' perceptions of program effectiveness. Setting: The study setting was the Restore & Renew® Wellness Clinic at a United States Department of Defense hospital. Subjects: The subjects were hospital nurses, physicians, clinicians, support staff, and administrators. Interventions: The walk-in wellness clinic was open 8:00 am-2:00 pm 1 day a week. Participants selected one or more modalities each visit: ear acupuncture, clinical acupressure, and Zero Balancing.® Outcome measures: A self-report survey was done after each clinic visit to evaluate clinic features and perceived impact on stress-related symptoms, compassion for patients, sleep, and workplace or personal relationships. Results: Surveys completed after first-time and repeat visits (n=2,756 surveys) indicated that most participants agreed or strongly agreed they felt more relaxed after sessions (97.9%), less stress (94.5%), more energy (84.3%), and less pain (78.8%). Ninety-seven percent (97%) would recommend it to a co-worker. Among surveys completed after five or more visits, more than half (59%-85%) strongly agreed experiencing increased compassion with patients, better sleep, improved mood, and more ease in relations with co-workers. Perceived benefits were sustained and enhanced by number of visits. The most frequently reported health habit changes were related to exercise, stress reduction, diet/nutrition, and weight loss. Conclusions: This evaluation suggests that a hospital-based wellness clinic based on CAM principles and modalities is feasible, well-utilized, and perceived by most participants to have positive health benefits related to stress reduction at work, improved mood and sleep, and lifestyle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)809-815
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Volume17
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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