Sense and Sensibility: Evidenced Based Complementary Therapies

What do you do as a case manager when your patient is not happy with their medical plan of care and wants to use complementary and alternative therapies?  Do you know what they are and how they are used?   Can you ethically support their decisions if they are not evidence-based?  Many therapies are offered by large hospitals, but does that make them credible?

Many therapies produce benefits that may support your patients through their treatments.  Other therapies only have palliative effects, but you will need to understand these therapies and why your patients may want to use them.  You will need to have a basic understanding of complementary therapies, so it is important to know how to find and review current reliable scientific literature, then provide an explanation of their outcomes.

Learner Outcomes:

At the end of the presentation, the learner will be able to:

  • Locate scientific literature without tearing out your hair.
  • Identify at least four Complementary Medicine practices and what evidence-based literature indicates.
  • Define one therapy concept for your own and/or your patient’s resilience.

This content will apply to the following Ethical Principles (Commission for Case Manager Certification 2015) Principles.  Board certified Case Managers will:

  • Principle 2 respect the rights and inherent dignity of all their clients
  • Principle 5 maintain their competency at a level that ensures their clients will receive the highest quality of service.

This content will apply to the following Ethical Principles and Standards from the Code of Ethics (National Association of Social Workers, 2017). 

  • Ethical Principles:
    • dignity and worth of the person
    • integrity
    • competence.
  • Ethical Standards:
    • 1. Social Workers’ Ethical Responsibilities to Clients
      • 1.02 Self-Determination
      • 1.04 Competence
      • 1.05 Cultural Awareness and Social Diversity


martha Martha became an RN in 1975 and a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator in 1980.  She worked OB in a high-risk tertiary hospital and had a Lamaze business for 7 yrs.  In the AF she worked OB in a level 1 hospital with a wartime job as an OR nurse. During her AF career, she received an MS in Operations Management.  Before going to BCBSSC as a case manager, she worked for several hospices. She is ANCC certified in Case Management since 2004 and part of ANCC’s Content Expert Panel for Case Management for the past 7 years.  Martha is a retired Lt Colonel from the AFR.