CAMbrella – Communication Platform on topics related to Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in Europe

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CAM is a not sharply defined term for a great variety of different healing and medical procedures and techniques that usually are not part of academic medicine as it is trained and delivered in Universities all over Europe and in primary and secondary healthcare. Most CAM procedures claim to deal with a „whole person approach“ and assume a distinctly relational approach to their clients. (WP1 in Bettinas word) There is no common approach to the regulation of CAM practice in Europe. All 39 countries that were studied do it their own way. both, the providers´ (WP5) and the regulations´ (WP2) perspective state his same fact; and both state the need for transparent harmonisation of CAM training and education, medical and non medical. Providers and citizens both need a transparent certification system of all who practice CAM. As the European Union has decided that the organization and regulation of health care is a national responsibility, further research and documentation is to be organised on national levels. There are nor reliable data about the prevalence of CAM in Europe. Further population based research is urgently wanted; all the more so as the findings from the citizens´angle show that there is a need to more and diverse CAM provision. The same applies to the information about CAM: Our research shows from different angles that the status of information about CAM is insufficient, intransparent and lacking quality. (WP3 and WP8) The recommendations for future research funded by public means encompass the following (WP6) • A broad range of mixed methods research strategies should be used to investigate CAM within the EU. The choice of method(s) for any particular project or experiment should be based on the specific scientific question and should focus on delivering safe and effective health interventions to EU citizens. • The CAM research strategy for Europe should be based on the popularity of a specific intervention and related to the national or regional public health needs and disease burden. • We suggest the formation of a centralised EU CAM centre with the responsibility to operationalise the CAMbrella recommendations in collaboration with selected EU member states and appropriate (worldwide) academic institutions to enable evidence based health sector reform with appropriate CAM interventions in the EU.

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