Employee use and perceived benefit of a complementary and alternative medicine wellness clinic at a major military hospital: evaluation of a pilot program

J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Sep;17(9):809-15. doi: 10.1089/acm.2010.0563. Epub 2011 Aug 11.


Objectives: The objectives of this study were to examine the feasibility of a weekly on-site complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) wellness clinic for staff at a military hospital, and to describe employees' perceptions of program effectiveness.

Setting: The study setting was the Restore & Renew(®) Wellness Clinic at a United States Department of Defense hospital.

Subjects: The subjects were hospital nurses, physicians, clinicians, support staff, and administrators.

Interventions: The walk-in wellness clinic was open 8:00 am-2:00 pm 1 day a week. Participants selected one or more modalities each visit: ear acupuncture, clinical acupressure, and Zero Balancing.(®)

Outcome measures: A self-report survey was done after each clinic visit to evaluate clinic features and perceived impact on stress-related symptoms, compassion for patients, sleep, and workplace or personal relationships.

Results: Surveys completed after first-time and repeat visits (n=2,756 surveys) indicated that most participants agreed or strongly agreed they felt more relaxed after sessions (97.9%), less stress (94.5%), more energy (84.3%), and less pain (78.8%). Ninety-seven percent (97%) would recommend it to a co-worker. Among surveys completed after five or more visits, more than half (59%-85%) strongly agreed experiencing increased compassion with patients, better sleep, improved mood, and more ease in relations with co-workers. Perceived benefits were sustained and enhanced by number of visits. The most frequently reported health habit changes were related to exercise, stress reduction, diet/nutrition, and weight loss.

Conclusions: This evaluation suggests that a hospital-based wellness clinic based on CAM principles and modalities is feasible, well-utilized, and perceived by most participants to have positive health benefits related to stress reduction at work, improved mood and sleep, and lifestyle.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Acupressure
  • Acupuncture, Ear
  • Affect
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Complementary Therapies* / statistics & numerical data
  • Data Collection
  • Empathy
  • Fatigue / prevention & control*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion*
  • Hospitals, Military
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Personnel, Hospital*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Sleep
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy*
  • Workplace