CAMbrella – A pan-European research network for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM)
Background: The status of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) within the EU needs clarification. Terminology of CAM, therapies, legal status, regulations and approaches used vary from country to country but there is widespread use by EU citizens.
Objectives and Methods: The project aimed to evaluate the conditions surrounding CAM use and provision in Europe and to develop a roadmap for CAM research in Europe. Specific objectives were to establish an EU network involving centres of research excellence for collaborative projects, to develop consensus-based terminology to describe CAM interventions, to create a knowledge base that facilitates the understanding of patient demand for CAM and its prevalence, to review the current legal status and policies governing CAM provision, and to explore the needs and attitudes of EU citizens with respect to CAM. Based on this information a roadmap was to propose that will enable sustainable and prioritised future European research in CAM.
Findings: Due to various language dependent cultures and traditions in Europe the consensus process regarding CAM terminology proved to be difficult. The broad scope of CAM is reflected by a pragmatic definition of CAM which the group could agree on.
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