Roadmap for future CAM research
To fully understand the use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in Europe, researchers need to know which citizens could benefit the most from CAM and which type of CAM therapy is best for which illness. In order to provide reliable and safe therapies that help improve the health of European citizens, we require a clear understanding of the effectiveness and safety of the therapies in the EU population. In addition to the 27 countries within the European Union, our evaluation will also include citizens of the 12 associated countries in this funding programme (Switzerland, Israel, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Turkey, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Montenegro).
The WP7 part of the CAMbrella project initially aims to analyse and synthesise the results of the other CAMbrella work packages which have researched who provides CAM, who uses CAM, why they use it and where additional needs of citizens remain unmet. From this we will develop a consensus-based “roadmap” to first describe these components and the analysis for future research requirements. Secondly, it will include recommendations of how future clinical and epidemiological CAM research should be carried out in the European Union. This will guide reliable and scientific evaluations of the therapeutic effects and cost-effectiveness of CAM therapies, also in comparison to conventional medicine. In addition, we will identify areas that are presently not well researched in CAM and identify major obstacles in gaining an overview of CAM in Europe. The planned date for completion of this document is September 2012.
The participants in the Work package are experienced researchers both in CAM and research methodology. In establishing a consensus-based forum, we will utilise other experts in the fields of CAM and integrated medicine. Each will contribute their expertise and research results to develop a comprehensive evaluation strategy of the current status of CAM in Europe for patients, providers and researchers, as well as providing useful information for legislators to use in policy decisions.