Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Integrative Medicine is the blending of conventional and evidence-based natural/complementary medicines, therapies and lifestyle interventions, using a holistic approach for optimal outcomes in health, healing and disease prevention with a supportive and empowering practitioner - patient relationship. Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs) is a wide ranging field encompassing many areas and an increasing belief of consumers that CAMs, being natural, are always safe and effective. However, often the typical literature associated with orthodox medicines is not found for CAMs or other forms of integrative medicine, nor is the information relating to the quality control and purity of herbal medicines of the same calibre as for western medicines. It is therefore up to each practitioner to thoroughly evaluate the claims for each of the herbal and alternative therapies and adjust their practice(s) appropriately. This subject forms part of the Pharmacy Honours program and enables students to critically interrogate evidence that relates to their practice as future pharmacist. 

SchoolSchool of Molecular Sciences/LIMS

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorSabine Wilkens

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 4 - UG/Hons/1st Yr PG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be admitted into Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) SHPB or have subject coordinator approval


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsEvidence-based herbal medicinesRecommendedRotblatt M, & Ziment, I 2002Henley and Belfus Inc. Philadelphia
ReadingsFundamentals of Complementary and Alternative MedicineRecommendedMicozzi, MS 2001Churchill Livingston, Pennsylvania
ReadingsGuide to Popular Natural Products (latest edition) (either electronic or bound copy)RecommendedDer Marderosian A (ed)Facts and Comparisons, St louis
MediaShort course in integrative medicinePrescribedBlackmore InstituteGriffith University
ReadingsHerbs and Natural Supplements -an evidenceRecommendedBraun, L. and Cohen, M 2014Sydney: Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Understand the general regulation of Australian complementary medicines

The rationale for CAMs will be taught in on-line modules and workshops and is assessed in quizzes

02. Be able to identify quality information resources for complementary medicines and understand how to analyse and interpret the evidence realising that some integrative medicine practices have not been tested nor rigorously examined clinically.

Scientific methodology with respect to CAMs will be discussed in lectures and workshops and assessed in quizzes, compendium and the critical appraisal.

03. Explain the rationale and role of integrative medicine in the maintenance of health and the management of various disease states including special populations i.e. pregnant women

This will be discussed throughout semester in workshops and on-line modules and assessed in quizzes and the compendium.

04. Articulate and communicate advice on the safe and quality use of specific complementary medicines, including information on the advantages and disadvantages of interactions and known side effects

Relevance of CAMs will be researched by students, taught in on-line modules and workshops and assessed in quizzes compendium and the compendium.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Bendigo, 2018, Semester 1, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorSabine Wilkens

Class requirements

Lecture Week: 10 - 22
One 1.0 hours lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

WorkShop Week: 10 - 22
Eleven 2.0 hours workshop per study period on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
On-line modules and quizzes (equivalent to 500 words)There are a total of ten on-line modules, each of which is followed by a quiz (5 multiple choice questions each). Each test needs to be passed at 80% and will then count 1% towards the final mark. Two attempts per quiz are allowed.10 01, 02, 03, 04
Critical appraisal of selected topic (approximately 1500 words)The topic for the critical appraisal is chosen from a list, and is related to one of the weekly modules. Three good-quality papers must be located and used when writing up the critical appraisal.30 02
Compendium of integrative medicine (approximately 1500 words)The compendium consists of five multiple choice quizzes, two case studies and two resource activities35 02, 03, 04
Multiple choice exam (1 hour, 1000 words equivalent)This multiple-choice exam covers all topics dealt with during the semester25 01, 03, 04