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S0091674909X00102_cov200hComplementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) are used in more than 80% of the world’s population and are becoming an increasing component of the US health care system, with more than 70% of the population using CAM at least once and annual spending reaching as much as $34 billion. Since the inception of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, there has been an enormous increase in the number of basic science and therapy-based clinical trials exploring CAM.

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There is, to some extent a confidence that Evidence Based Medicine is an all encompassing component of medical care. Certainly it is a position that all practitioners and clinicians would feel a high level of confidence about their daily work if this was true. The CAM community is frequently accused of pursuing strategies that have no, or at best a controversial evidence basis. This in part is true, there are many proposed reasons why including of course financial ones.

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As more and more people are writing about medicine, alternative medicine and other subjects in which a reference is required it is sometimes useful to have consistent approaches to building that all important reference list. There is an increasing willingness to use blogs as sources, or other web pages. This web page called Citing Medicine

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Comment: The National Institutes of Health have spent more than $2 billion researching complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). However, these studies may have little influence on mainstream physicians and even CAM providers, according to a survey reported in the April 13 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

“In this study we wanted to know, ‘Can CAM research have social value?'” Dr. Jon C. Tilburt told Reuters Health. “We sought to answer this from the perspectives of the clinicians who might benefit from the published clinical trials of CAM.”

Dr. Tilburt, a bioethicist at the NIH in Bethesda, Maryland, and at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, added, “Awareness of and willingness to recommend a therapy based on new evidence are preliminary indicators of whether or not CAM research is making its way into clinical practice.”

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