Do naturopaths and Western herbalists rely too heavily on industry-based CPE?
In Australia, data suggests that naturopaths and Western herbalists rely on a number of sources of information to guide their prescribing – with textbooks being the most utilised sources of information. However, one study found that 43% of practitioners relied on manufacturer literature to help inform clinical decision-making (Braun et al., 2013). Other Australian research suggests an even higher reliance on industry-sourced information, with the information resources most often used by practitioners in this study being professional newsletters (91%), reference textbook (72%), and seminars run by manufacturers (70%)(Smith et al., 2005). In their report on the practice and regulatory requirements of naturopaths and Western herbalists, Lin et al (2009) concluded that it was highly likely that product manufacturers were the major providers of continuing education for CAM practitioners. Thus the evidence suggests that the naturopath and Western herbalist professions have an over-reliance on industry-based sources of information to guide their practice (Lin et al., 2009).