Naturopathic physicians' interest in participating in pediatric observational studies or clinical trials is unknown. Complementary and alternative medicine research may need to be conducted in the settings where these therapies are commonly used to fully understand their effects. Optimally, naturopathic physicians will participate in the research of naturopathic medical practice. A survey was conducted to ascertain naturopathic physicians' interest in participating in pediatric research studies and characteristics of those most interested.
In July 2004, a survey designed to assess pediatric research interests and a one-dollar incentive was mailed to all Washington state-licensed naturopathic physicians with in-state mailing addresses (n = 513). A second survey and one-dollar incentive were sent to nonresponders in November 2004. Surveys were collected through January 2005.
From the 499 surveys delivered as addressed, 251 completed surveys were returned (50.3%). Of the 204 naturopathic physicians in current practice who completed surveys, 59 (28.9%) indicated they would not recommend or advertise an observational, open-label, or placebo-controlled trial to their pediatric patients, and 85 (41.7%) indicated they had no interest in being involved with research studies themselves. Of the 204 respondents in practice, 83 (40.7%) would recommend placebo-controlled trials to their pediatric patients, and 52 (25.5%) were willing to recruit for such a trial in the office.
Characteristics of naturopathic physicians most interested in active pediatric research involvement included fewer years in practice, greater number of pediatric patients treated per week, and having shared office space.