CAM use, the providers’ perspective - CAMbrella Work Package 5

The aim of WP5 is to identify the different modalities of CAM provided by registered physicians and practitioners within public health systems in Europe in order to describe the European situation. Also, WP5 will act as an evaluation platform providing vital information about the practice of CAM among certified physicians and practitioners in the EU.

Specifically, WP5 will review literature addressing the providers' perspective of CAM use in Europe; how many providers offer CAM, which different CAM methods are provided.

The WP5 members will also identify the health problems for which CAM is utilised and will describe the impact of research results on health care practice. Finally, it is important to explore how CAM research and the relevant evidence base are integrated into CAM practice.

After collecting data from websites, WP5 held two internal workshops to present the resulting data. Currently, a questionnaire is being designed to collect data in a systematic manner, identifying representatives and stakeholders and inviting them to cooperate with CAMbrella. WP5 will contact the relevant national bodies for each specific CAM method in order to identify their areas of interest, training and requirements for the continuing registration. Later, a map of nationally based activities will be developed to inform the other WPs, as well as the public.

The present situation of CAM in Europe shows a lot of variation. Even the definition and the provision of different types of CAM vary from country to country. To give an example: the provision of chiropractic is very much a part of routine medical care in Scandinavia, whereas in other countries it has historically been “outlawed”.

CAM treatments are provided by a large number of physicians in Europe, but also by non-medical therapists in some countries, and almost exclusively by non-academic providers in others. For both groups, the training varies widely in quality and extent. It is important that this multifaceted area is mapped and investigated in order to improve safety for the citizens and facilitate co-operation between researchers and providers.

Seven participants represent six countries in WP5: Denmark, Hungary, Italy (2), Romania, Switzerland, UK.

The work of WP5 will be finished by the end of 2011.

The Work Package leader is Klaus von Ammon, KIKOM, University of Berne, Switzerland.

Text:  Klaus von Ammon and Jesper Odde Madsen