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Alternative Therapies Awareness Encouraged by Government

Posted: April 14, 2009

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Respondents who were aware of CAM trials "were more likely to be rheumatologists, to be practicing in an institutional or academic setting, to have some research experience, to express greater ability to interpret evidence and to report greater acceptance of evidence," the researchers wrote.

The findings, which are in the April 13 issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, suggest that the training, attitudes and experiences of clinicians may have a major effect on whether CAM trial results are translated into clinical practice. "For evidence from clinical research to have an impact on medical practice, health care professionals must first be aware of the research," wrote Jon C. Tilburt, MD, of the NIH and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and his colleagues. "Once aware, health care professionals must be able to interpret these findings, judging both their validity and their implications. Finally, they must apply the scientific evidence to their own practices."

They concluded that "concerted efforts must be undertaken that more deliberately train clinicians in critical appraisal, biostatistics and use of evidence-based resources, as well as expanded research opportunities, dedicated training experiences and improved dissemination of research results."

More information

The U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine has more about CAM therapies.