FEDERAL WAY, Wash., Aug. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) today released the findings of a landmark survey representing the most comprehensive evaluation of the practice strategies and clinical applications of Functional Medicine ever conducted. The study, "Functional Medicine Practices: Opportunities, Challenges, and Emerging Trends," funded by Pure Encapsulations, collected more than 1,000 responses and revealed valuable insights into the advances Functional Medicine is bringing to patient care, and will help to educate healthcare providers desiring to implement Functional Medicine in their practices. This survey represents an important step toward a better understanding of how Functional Medicine is applied in clinical practice.
This year alone, searches for Functional Medicine practitioners in IFM's database are expected to top 1 million, up 20% from 2015. According to LivingMatrix, a new cloud-based patient record application designed for the Functional Medicine practice, the average Functional Medicine patient reports 30 symptoms. The Functional Medicine model allows practitioners to spend significant time with each patient in order to help them understand the environmental, lifestyle and genetic factors that influence health and disease. Functional Medicine practitioners develop a personalized treatment plan to address the underlying causes of symptoms—an approach that often incorporates dietary and lifestyle changes, including personalized therapeutic food plans and nutritional supplements.
"Functional Medicine practitioners worldwide are demonstrating that this systems-medicine approach improves patient outcomes across a wide range of chronic diseases and syndromes," explained Laurie Hofmann, MPH, CEO of the Institute for Functional Medicine. "As a result of the booming digital health field, wearable devices, nutrition and exercise apps, personalized medicine, and genomics testing, patients are increasingly adopting tools that empower them to take a more proactive role in their health and wellness—a strategy that helps them feel better and reduce costs. The findings of this survey provide us an exciting roadmap to direct our efforts to prepare Functional Medicine practitioners for success in this evolving environment," Hofmann noted. "We want to thank our partners at Pure Encapsulations for empowering us to invest in this research and to continue developing innovative resources to help us educate and support practitioners around the world."
"This survey underscores the valuable commitment of Functional Medicine providers to improve the health and wellness of their patients and to empower them with both tools and knowledge," said Joy Devins, Senior Vice President of Pure Encapsulations. "We are proud to work alongside these innovators in the healthcare system to provide educational resources, research, and nutritional products to help facilitate optimal patient care."
- 71% of first-time Functional Medicine patient visits last 60–120 minutes, compared with an average conventional primary care visit time of 15 minutes or less.
- 99% of Functional Medicine practitioners recommend nutritional supplements to their patients.
- 66% of Functional Medicine practitioners currently offer educational seminars, or hope to offer training models to their patients within the next 12 months.
- Contrary to burnout trends among physicians, 43% of physicians practicing Functional Medicine plan to work into their 70s, indicating higher job satisfaction.
- Functional Medicine practitioners reported increased use of advanced lab testing and a preference for electronic medical records, among other practice information that may be of use to practitioners considering Functional Medicine.
For more information about Functional Medicine and to purchase the full survey, please visit IFM.org/ResearchStudy. For more information on Pure Encapsulations hypoallergenic nutritional supplements, visit PureEncapsulations.com.
The research was conducted by The Institute for Functional Medicine from November 10 to November 24, 2015, via an online survey distributed to more than 7,000 Functional Medicine practitioners, and yielded 1,016 responses.
About The Institute for Functional Medicine
The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) is the global leader in Functional Medicine. Its mission is to ensure the widespread adoption of functional medicine as the standard of care. IFM supports and disseminates innovative new tools and approaches within the extended Functional Medicine community and beyond, and works to identify stakeholders, issues, and major influences affecting Functional Medicine internationally through trends in primary care, consumerism in health care, digital health, and more.
About Pure Encapsulations
A business unit of Atrium Innovations Inc., Pure Encapsulations is committed to producing a complete line of research-based nutritional supplements. Available through health professionals, finished products are pure and hypoallergenic to optimize the long-term health of all individuals, even the most sensitive.* Pure Encapsulations is an industry leader in quality assurance, with an extensive raw material and finished product testing program that includes analysis for identity, potency, environmental contaminants, oxidation and more by certified third-party laboratories. Pure Encapsulations is NSF-GMP-registered in the U.S., GMP-certified in Canada and exceeds the standards of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) for supplement manufacturing. For additional information, please visit PureEncapsulations.com.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
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SOURCE The Institute for Functional Medicine