Date of Submission

2016

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Psychology

Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Barbara A Golden, PsyD, ABPP, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Michael Becker, DO, MS

Abstract

Background: Psoriasis is a multifactorial disease that effect approximately 7.5 million Americans. There are a variety of traditional treatments for psoriasis (e.g. topical medications, biologics) that for many, are effective in combating the disease. However, traditional treatments often have aversive side effects and may not be appropriate for every patient (e.g. pregnant women). Additionally, the efficacy of these medications are variable leaving some looking for adjunctive treatment options. There is increasing evidence to support the use of adjunctive treatments for psoriatic patients (e.g. psychotherapy, mindfulness). However, research is variable in regards to medical professionals’ attitudes towards integrative medicine (IM) as well as what types of adjunctive treatments they are recommending for psoriatic patients.

Methods: A total of 105 allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) interns, residents and attending physicians completed surveys to measure their attitudes towards IM and to determine what traditional and adjunctive treatments they recommend.

Results: Results indicated no significant difference between MD and DO participants’ attitudes towards IM. There were no significant difference in attitudes towards IM between MD interns, residents and attending physicians. However, DO attending physicians had significantly more positive attitudes toward IM compared to DO residents. Notably, psychotherapy was the second highest recommended treatment in this study, second only to topical medications (78%).

Conclusion: This study suggests no significant difference between MD and DO attitudes towards IM. However, the study suggest that time in the field may increase positive attitudes towards IM for the DO orientation. This study also suggests that medical professionals, both of the MD and DO orientation are open to recommending adjunctive treatments to their patients as 3 of the top 5 treatment recommendations in this study were adjunctive.