What is CAM?

 

What is CAM?

“CAM” stands for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, which covers a whole host of different therapies used traditionally and in the community.  There are a number of different formal definitions of CAM, as discussed below.

'The terms "complementary medicine" or "alternative medicine" are used interchangeably with traditional medicine in some countries. They refer to a broad set of health care practices that are not part of that country's own tradition and are not integrated into the dominant health care system'  (WHO, 2000).

'traditional medicine is the sum total of the knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness' (WHO, 2000).

'CAM is a group of diverse medical health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered to be part of conventional medicine' (NCCAM, 2007).

'CAM, as utilized by European citizens, represents a variety of different medical systems and therapies based on the knowledge, skills and practices derived from theories, philosophies and experiences used to maintain and improve health, as well as to prevent, diagnose, relieve or treat physical and mental illnesses. CAM therapies are mainly used outside conventional health care, but in many countries some therapies are being adopted or adapted by conventional health care' (Uehleke et al., 2012).

 

'Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a broad domain of healing resources that encompasses all health systems, modalities, and practices and their accompanying theories and beliefs, other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period' (Wieland, 2011).

 

'Complementary medicine (CM) is a broad domain of healing resources that encompasses all health systems, modalities, and practices and their accompanying theories and beliefs, other than those intrinsic to the politically dominant health system of a particular society or culture in a given historical period. CM includes all such practices and ideas self-defined by their users as preventing or treating illness or promoting health and well-being. Boundaries within CM and between the CM domain and that of the dominant system are not always sharp or fixed.' (Zollman & Vickers).  

'Complementary and alternative medicines are treatments that fall outside of mainstream healthcare' (NHS, 2016)

 

 

 

'Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is a title used to refer to a diverse group of health-related therapies and disciplines which are not considered to be a part of mainstream medical care' (House of Lords, 2000). 

'Those forms of treatment which are not widely used by the conventional healthcare professions, and the skills of which are not taught as part of the undergraduate curriculum of conventional medical and paramedical healthcare courses' (BMA, 1993). 

 

 

At the RCCM, we are working closely with many of the CAM professional bodies in the UK. Successive UK Governments have taken forward progress towards the regulation of the CAM professions in the interests of patient safety, as described in the CAM Regulation section.

 

An RCCM project in 2002 produced a thesaurus of terms and synonyms used within CAM, called the CISCOM Thesaurus. It is an extremely useful resource when searching for evidence or definitions. For a more detailed description of the Thesaurus, click here.

 

Sources: 

BMA (British Medical Association)., (1993). Complementary Medicine: New Approaches to Good Practice. UK: Oxford University Press.

House of Lords, Select Committee on Science and Technology., (2000). Sixth report. Complementary and alternative medicine. London: House of Lords.

NCCAM (National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine)., (2007). CAM Basics. USA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

NHS, (2016). Complementary and alternative medicine. Accessed at: <http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/complementary-alternative-medicine/Pages/complementary-alternative-medicines.aspx>

Uehleke, B., Falkenberg, T., von Ammon, K., Lewith, G., Lazarus, A., Roberti di Sarsina, P., (2012). A pan-European research network for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. CAMbrella.

WHO., (2000). General Guides for Methodologies on Research and Evaluation of Traditional Medicine. Geneva: World Health Organization.

Wieland, L.S., Manheimer, E., Berman, B.M., (2011). Development and classification of an operational definition of complementary and alternative medicine for the Cochrane Collaboration. Alternative therapies in health and medicine. 17.(2), 50.

Zollman, C., Vickers, A., (1999). What is complementary medicine? BMJ. 319. (693).

 

Last updated on9 April, 2016 - 14:53
Created on26 July, 2011 - 14:49