What is Integrative Primary Care?

Integrative primary care is the coordinated delivery of evidence-based conventional medical care, complementary medicine and lifestyle medicine within a primary care practice.

Incorporating integrative medicine into mainstream primary care practices enables physicians and other health care providers to:

  • Deliver higher quality care
  • Improve patient outcomes and satisfaction
  • Lower costs
  • Reduce burnout

If you are interested in practicing integrative primary care, each one of these case studies shows one tool or method to add to your practice.

Best Practice in Integrative Primary Care

Integrative Primary Care Case Studies

A Return to the Craft of Healing with Patient-Centered, Team-Based Care

Patient-centered, team-based care enables physicians to develop the relationships—with patients and with team members—that are essential to health and healing.


Helping Patients with Chronic Diseases and Conditions Heal with the HOPE Note

The HOPE (Healing Oriented Practices & Environments) Note is a simple tool for adding integrative health care to a routine office visit. This patient-guided process identifies the patient’s values and goals in life and for healing so the physician can assist the patient in meeting those goals with evidence and other support.


Chronic Disease Management with Group Visits

An estimated 60 to 70 percent of chronic disease is behavior- and lifestyle-based. Thus, most patients need information and help to promote healthy behaviors.

Group visits enable physicians to work with patients in a supportive group environment to manage chronic diseases. They offer clinical, financial, and operational benefits, and contribute to integrative primary care.


Empowering Patients With Chronic Diseases to Live Healthier Through Health Coaching

Half of all adults in the United States have at least one chronic disease and 25 percent have two or more.

Health coaching helps these patients understand their chronic disease(s) and actively participate in their care. Coaches support patients in developing and following action plans for healthier behaviors. Health coaching has clinical and operational benefits and contributes to integrative primary care.


Helping Patients Manage Chronic Pain with Integrative Primary Care

Integrative primary care enables providers to help patients treat and understand their pain and become actively engaged in making lifestyle, behavioral and self-care changes to manage their pain.

This case study looks at a program providing non-pharmacologic chronic pain solutions for veterans run by a nationally recognized expert in integrative medicine, Henri Roca, MD, program director of the Integrative Medicine Patient Aligned Care Team at the Central Arkansas Veterans Administration Healthcare System.


Evidence-Informed Decisions that Help Patients Live Longer, Better or Both

Information mastery enables physicians to make decisions by combining useful information that matters to patients with clinical experience. Information mastery on integrative care adds value to the delivery of health care by decreasing overdiagnosis, overtreatment and low-quality care. It provides a focus on key underlying determinants of health in chronic disease. This lowers health care costs.

Allen F. Shaughnessy, PharmD, MMedEd, of Tufts University School of Medicine discusses how to use evidence in primary care especially when providing integrative care.


CME Courses Available at No Cost

Introducing Whole Person Care Into Your Practice

Introducing Whole Person Care Into Your Practice

Clinician as Healer in Primary Care

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Integrative Approaches to Chronic Pain Management Course

Learn Better Strategies For Treating Your Patients With Chronic Pain