Author Affiliation: Division of Developmental Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has received increased attention in mainstream medicine since a 1993 study demonstrated that one-third of US adults used some form of “unconventional medicine.”1 By 2002, the prevalence of CAM use by adults had increased to 62% to 68%,2,3 and it has become clear that users of CAM are not primarily dissatisfied with conventional care, but have a more holistic approach to health4 or simply appreciate multiple treatment options.5 What was once identified as “alternative medicine” has become “complementary,” “holistic,” and “integrative”; indeed, CAM therapies, such as probiotics, melatonin, massage, yoga, and acupuncture, have become part of the conventional medicine armamentarium, and the demarcation between CAM and mainstream medicine continues to shift.
Chan E. Quality of Efficacy Research in Complementary and Alternative Medicine. JAMA. 2008;299(22):2685-2686. doi:10.1001/jama.299.22.2685