Experiences, Opinions, and Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Among Alberta Midwives
Chinelo Oguaju, BPharm, MSc, Deborah Dewey, PhD, Gregor Wolbring, PhD, Gisela Becker, RM, MA, and Stacey Page, PhD
Background: Complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) are widely used by individuals in many parts of the world to treat different ailments and maintain good health. Midwives are maternity care providers who may recommend or provide CAMs to assist clients with their pregnancies and childbirth and the early neonatal health of infants. There are currently no provincial data on the recommendation and use of CAMs by Alberta midwives.
Objectives: To describe the use, experiences, and opinions of Alberta midwives about CAMs, as well as their self-reported educational needs relating to CAM.
Method: A descriptive cross-sectional survey was distributed to all midwives registered with the Alberta Association of Midwives.
Result: The response rate to the survey was 23.7% and the completion rate was 82.7%. About 90% of the participating midwives recommended CAM, and 45.8% provided CAM very often to their clients. Client preferences and scientific evidence of efficacy were the most commonly stated reasons for recommending CAM. More than two-thirds (70.8%) of respondents believed that they lacked adequate CAM education.
Conclusion: CAM was frequently recommended by the midwives who participated in this study. However, the majority of the participants indicated that they lack adequate knowledge and education in regard to CAM. Consequently, providing more CAM education opportunities for midwives may be justified.
complementary and alternative medicine, midwives, pregnancy, women