Details of Publication 735 for Project W060:

Steel A, Adams J, Broom A, Sibbritt D, Frawley J & Gallois C. Marginalization and companionable silence: CAM practitioners' perspectives of their interprofessional relationships with maternity care providers. , 2014; : A111

Purpose: Contemporary maternity care is characterised by therapeutic pluralism whereby women engage with multiple care providers from varied professional groups. This includes the concomitant involvement of conventional maternity care providers and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners. While there have been some attempts to explore the perspective of conventional care providers towards the involvement and inclusion of CAM in women’s maternity care, the views of CAM practitioners have been overlooked.Methods: This study draws upon semi-structured interviews with 21 CAM practitioners who provide care to women during pregnancy. The practitioner groups represented within the study were: naturopaths, osteopaths, massage therapists, doulas, acupuncturists, and chiropractors. Based upon a modified grounded theory approach, the interviews were analyzed and common themes across interviews were identified.Results: The analysis identified 3 major themes associated with the interface between CAM and conventional care providers in maternity care. Through the first theme the CAM practitioners described conventional care providers’ rejection of CAM creating marginalization of doctors. Second, the interface between midwives and CAM practitioners was depicted as an interprofessional ‘companionable silence’. Finally, CAM practitioners describe practicing in isolation even from other CAM practitioners,despite desiring collegial support.Conclusion: The interprofessional dynamics experienced by CAM practitioner providing maternity care is complex. There is a need to improve the collaboration and communication between all care providers involved in women’s maternity care team. Without addressing these interprofessional issue