integrative health aims for well-coordinated care among different providers and institutions by bringing conventional and complementary approaches together to care for the whole person. according to the 2012 national health interview survey (nhis), which included a comprehensive survey on the use of complementary health approaches by americans, 17.7 percent of american adults had used a dietary supplement other than vitamins and minerals in the past year.
the 2012 nhis showed that yoga, chiropractic and osteopathic manipulation, and meditation are among the most popular complementary health approaches used by adults. the mission of nccih is to determine, through rigorous scientific investigation, the fundamental science, usefulness, and safety of complementary and integrative health approaches and their roles in improving health and health care. it is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your health care provider(s).
questions about cam use arise at a time when providers of conventional medical care are being challenged as never before to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of health care in the united states. therefore, an appreciation of both the strengths and the limitations of conventional medicine, especially as perceived by cam users in the united states, is necessary context for development of conceptual models to guide public and private decision making about cam research and practices. this question provides the framework for considering the appropriate clinical and policy responses to the widespread use of cam by the american public. the national center for complementary and alternative medicine (nccam) of nih defines cam as “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine” (nccam, 2002). definitions that place cam outside the politically dominant health care system fail “to offer a standard for differentiating conventional interventions and cam other than by appealing to what is or is not intrinsic to the practices of the dominant culture. the final category described by nccam is energy therapies which include the manipulation and application of energy fields to the body. the effect of such a broad definition means that all statements and recommendations made in this report will not apply equally to all cam modalities and there may even be some cam modalities for which particular statements do not apply at all.
in 1999, the cancer advisory panel for cam was established for the purpose of assessing clinical data related to cam treatment of cancer and the first dietary supplements research center was funded jointly by nccam and the nih office of dietary supplements. also in that year, iom established the committee on the use of complementary and alternative medicine by the american public. the establishment of international centers for cam research is also an initiative in development. two other activities that assist with outreach are publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals, the number of which is increasing, and the development of the cam on pubmed subsection of the national library of medicine’s medline database. the office of dietary supplements (ods) is part of the office of nih director and was established in 1995 in response to a congressional mandate (dshea, 1994). in september 2002, nccam, 15 other nih centers and institutes, and ahrq commissioned the iom to conduct a study on the use of cam by the american public. chapter 5 explores the existing evidence of the effectiveness for cam and the gaps in that evidence and describes a research framework for use in filling the gaps that have been identified. institute of medicine (us) committee on the use of complementary and alternative medicine by the american public.
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