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Review Article

A Systematic Literature Review of Complementary and Alternative Medicine Prevalence in EU

Eardley S.a · Bishop F.L.a · Prescott P.b · Cardini F.c · Brinkhaus B.d · Santos-Rey K.e · Vas J.e · von Ammon K.f · Hegyi G.g · Dragan S.h · Uehleke B.i,j · Fønnebø V.k · Lewith G.a

Author affiliations

a Complementary and Integrated Medicine Research Unit, b Department of Statistics, University of Southampton, UK c Health and Social Agency of Emilia Romagna Region, Italy d Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité University Medical Center, Berlin, Germany e Andalusian Health Service, Pain Treatment Unit, Doña Mercedes Primary Care Centre, Dos Hermanas, Spain f Institute of Complementary Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland g PTE ETK Komplementer Medicina Tanszék, Budapest, Hungary h Department of Preventive Cardiology, Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timisoara, Romania i Institute of Complementary Medicine, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland j University of Health and Sports, Berlin, Germany k National Research Center in CAM (NAFKAM), Institute of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø, Norway

Related Articles for ""

Forsch Komplementmed 2012;19(suppl 2):18–28

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Review Article

Published online: November 01, 2012
Issue release date: November 2012

ISSN: 2504-2092 (Print)
eISSN: 2504-2106 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/CMR

Abstract

Background: Studies suggest that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is widely used in the European Union (EU). We systematically reviewed data, reporting research quality and the prevalence of CAM use by citizens in Europe; what it is used for, and why. Methods: We searched for general population surveys of CAM use by using Ovid MEDLINE (1948 to September 2010), Cochrane Library (1989 to September 2010), CINAHL (1989 to September 2010), EMBASE (1980 to September 2010), PsychINFO including PsychARTICLES (1989 to September 2010), Web of Science (1989 to September 2010), AMED (1985 to September 2010), and CISCOM (1989 to September 2010). Additional studies were identified through experts and grey literature. Cross-sectional, population-based or cohort studies reporting CAM use in any EU language were included. Data were extracted and reviewed by 2 authors using a pre-designed extraction protocol with quality assessment instrument. Results: 87 studies were included. Inter-rater reliability was good (kappa = 0.8). Study methodology and quality of reporting were poor. The prevalence of CAM use varied widely within and across EU countries (0.3–86%). Prevalence data demonstrated substantial heterogeneity unrelated to report quality; therefore, we were unable to pool data for meta-analysis; our report is narrative and based on descriptive statistics. Herbal medicine was most commonly reported. CAM users were mainly women. The most common reason for use was dissatisfaction with conventional care; CAM was widely used for musculoskeletal problems. Conclusion: CAM prevalence across the EU is problematic to estimate because studies are generally poor and heterogeneous. A consistent definition of CAM, a core set of CAMs with country-specific variations and a standardised reporting strategy to enhance the accuracy of data pooling would improve reporting quality.


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Review Article

Published online: November 01, 2012
Issue release date: November 2012

ISSN: 2504-2092 (Print)
eISSN: 2504-2106 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/CMR


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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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