ITEMS IN FPM ON TOPIC:
Complementary and alternative medicine
The article introduces integrative medicine, the combination of mainstream medical therapies with CAM therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness. It cites integrative family medicine residencies and other academic programs in integrative medicine and suggests ways that the reader might explore integrative medicine.
Let’s do more soul-searching before we advise patients about untested alternative therapies.We would not place our patients on methotrexate before learning that it was safe and effective. Let’s not give them magnetic treatments without the same standard.
The author makes a case for why it's important for family physicians to be able to communicate at a basic level about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and, to that end, provides a "primer" that includes some basic information about the most common CAM therapies. It includes a table that lists commonly used CAM therapies with recommendations for their use, each of which are based on evidence or on approaches that are currently undergoing randomized control trials. It also includes a list of articles and books that physicians can consult to learn more about CAM.
This article will cover the key points from each of the sessions offered during the Managed Care Forum at the 1998 AAFP Scientific Assembly.