In recent years, complementary medicine (CM) approaches are integrated within a growing number of health care services worldwide. Implementation of CM within primary, secondary and tertiary settings of health care requires attention to a variety of communication challenges. In this special issue of Patient Education and Counseling 23 articles are presented about the patient-provider communication on complementary approaches, and the implementation and integration of CM in health care. Parallel to CM integration in the clinical arena, this special issue emphasizes the importance of two complementary axes: in medical education and in research, particularly on management of chronic illness and life-threatening diseases. The three legs of the integrative stool - research, education, and clinical practice - are perceived in the light of open, non-judgmental patient-health care provider-CM practitioner communication and a patient-centered bio-psycho-social-cultural-spiritual agenda.

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Keywords Alternative medicine, Chronic diseases, Communication, Complementary care, Education, Integrative medicine, Traditional medicine
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Journal Patient Education and Counseling
Ben-Arye, E, & Visser, A.P.H. (2012). The role of health care communication in the development of complementary and integrative medicine. Patient Education and Counseling, 89(3), 363–367. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2012.10.003