Abstract

Holistic medicine means consideration of the complete person, physically, psychologically, socially, and spiritually, in the management and prevention of disease. These different states can be equally important. All healthcare practitioners should aspire towards a holistic approach to patients and attempt to practice it. Recognizing the ‘whole’ person in the prevention and treatment of a disease may hold the key to some diagnoses for doctors. It may also allow valuable and important help and guidance to be given to the patient. Patients tend to be more satisfied if a doctor takes a holistic approach, feeling that their doctor has time for them and their problems. In addition to a holistic approach, a team approach to a patient is also extremely important. There are three types of teams: a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary team. Which team will be used depends on the possibility, knowledge and the patients’ needs. In a team approach the patient is the main focus and is thus the responsibility of every member of the team. The team has a responsibility towards one another to have open communication channels and mutual respect for different professions. Each member of the team should know his or her own abilities and limitations. In many articles the outcomes of treatment with a team approach have been reported positively, with no reports of negative consequences of team intervention. Furthermore, the use of a team approach has been demonstrated in all healthcare settings across the continuum. Forming a multidisciplinary team is only one aspect of providing a multidisciplinary health care service. Developing systems and resources that ensure the team can function effectively is also essential.

Key words: holistic approach, team work, multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary

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