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AKINSO: The National Center for Complementary
and Alternative Medicine has launched an educational campaign
to encourage the discussion of complementary and
The campaign Time to Talk is designed to encourage patients
and their health care providers to talk openly
about health care practices.
Dr. Josephine Briggs, the Director of NCCAM,
talked about the importance of the campaign.
BRIGGS: It's very important that health care providers
and patients talk about these issues to ensure safe
and good health care.
We found in our survey that 20 percent of AARP respondents were
taking more than five prescription medicines.
So that means that the chance of some interactions and the need
for discussion is all the greater in people with a lot of
It's very important that health care providers know about
CAM use so they can really be partners in health care.
This is something docs need to know about,
other health care providers need to know about,
and patients need to talk about.
AKINSO: NCCAM and the AARP partnered on
a consumer telephone survey to measure and understand
communication practices between patients age 50 or older
and their physicians.
The survey confirms that patients and physicians
often do not discuss the use
of complementary and alternative medicine.
Dr. Briggs says tips are available for patients to
initiate the talking process with health care providers.
BRIGGS: Our health care campaign includes tips for patients.
It suggests that people write down a list of things they're
using—drugs and other modalities—and go to the
doctor's office prepared to tell their doctor what is going on
with their health care.
AKINSO: For more information about the campaign including
tips, a toolkit, and many other resources visit
This is Wally Akinso at the National Institutes of Health,