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Books, Journals, New Media
October 24/31, 2001

Alternative and Complementary MedicineThe Desktop Guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicine: An Evidenced-Based Approach

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


Copyright 2001 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2001American Medical Association


edited by Edzard Ernst, Max H. Pittler, Clare Stevinson, and Adrian White, 440 pp, paper, $34.95, ISBN 0-7234-3207-4, London, England, Harcourt Publishers, Ltd, St Louis, Mo, Mosby, 2001.

JAMA. 2001;286(16):2030-2031. doi:10.1001/jama.286.16.2030-JBK1024-5-1

Nowhere has the need for evidence been greater than in the field of complementary and alternative medicine, an emerging medical discipline that encompasses a vast array of cultures, languages, belief systems, and forms of medical practice. Although numerous books on the topic have been written in recent years, The Desktop Guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicine sets a new standard for excellence.

The book's strengths are many. The text is divided into six sections and has a practical, user-friendly layout. Readers unfamiliar with the terminology and systems of practice of complementary and alternative medicine will appreciate the "therapies" section, which defines a number of complementary therapies and the premises on which they are based. The text also includes a sorely needed description of complementary and alternative medicine diagnostic techniques. Many physicians are unaware that their patients have been diagnosed with illnesses by techniques called iridology or applied kinesiology. The authors describe the scientific basis (or lack thereof) for such techniques and cite the evidence for their use, if any.

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