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A systematic literature review of complementary and alternative medicine prevalence in EU

A systematic literature review of complementary and alternative medicine prevalence in EU
A systematic literature review of complementary and alternative medicine prevalence in EU
Background: Studies suggest that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is widely used in the European Union (EU). We systematically reviewed data, reporting research quality and the prevalence of CAM use by citizens in Europe; what it is used for, and why.

Methods: We searched for general population surveys of CAM use by using Ovid MEDLINE (1948 to September 2010), Cochrane Library (1989 to September 2010), CINAHL (1989 to September 2010), EMBASE (1980 to September 2010), PsychINFO including PsychARTICLES (1989 to September 2010), Web of Science (1989 to September 2010), AMED (1985 to September 2010), and CISCOM (1989 to September 2010). Additional studies were identified through experts and grey literature. Cross-sectional, population-based or cohort studies reporting CAM use in any EU language were included. Data were extracted and reviewed by 2 authors using a pre-designed extraction protocol with quality assessment instrument.

Results: 87 studies were included. Inter-rater reliability was good (kappa = 0.8). Study methodology and quality of reporting were poor. The prevalence of CAM use varied widely within and across EU countries (0.3–86%). Prevalence data demonstrated substantial heterogeneity unrelated to report quality; therefore, we were unable to pool data for meta-analysis; our report is narrative and based on descriptive statistics. Herbal medicine was most commonly reported. CAM users were mainly women. The most common reason for use was dissatisfaction with conventional care; CAM was widely used for musculoskeletal problems.

Conclusion: CAM prevalence across the EU is problematic to estimate because studies are generally poor and heterogeneous. A consistent definition of CAM, a core set of CAMs with country-specific variations and a standardised reporting strategy to enhance the accuracy of data pooling would improve reporting quality.
systematic review, european union, prevalence, complementary and alternative medicine
1661-4119
18-28
Eardley, S.
6e3b8bd1-5cdf-4b20-9bd3-e42af07f7396
Bishop, F.L.
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Prescott, P.
c212465a-eecb-4997-acea-23cc8da93666
Cardini, F.
56ae6eb6-155c-4d15-a028-2b583dc93ea4
Brinkhaus, B.
e8a59b47-6b36-46bc-ae56-d9741c57c372
Santos-Rey, K.
e2508ab2-3fb9-4688-a839-cd049e940926
Vas, J.
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von Ammon, K.
326a0ff1-87e0-4428-9c94-7228ec41226a
Hegyi, G.
fd520ed3-dfa9-476e-a846-ccae1f8a44d8
Dragan, S.
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Uehleke, B.
c7a774fb-a5d5-4b2e-8b04-be26e59f62f6
Fonnebo, V.
a22de59b-c710-4bdb-85f7-c0bb37f91f56
Lewith, G.
0fc483fa-f17b-47c5-94d9-5c15e65a7625
Eardley, S.
6e3b8bd1-5cdf-4b20-9bd3-e42af07f7396
Bishop, F.L.
1f5429c5-325f-4ac4-aae3-6ba85d079928
Prescott, P.
c212465a-eecb-4997-acea-23cc8da93666
Cardini, F.
56ae6eb6-155c-4d15-a028-2b583dc93ea4
Brinkhaus, B.
e8a59b47-6b36-46bc-ae56-d9741c57c372
Santos-Rey, K.
e2508ab2-3fb9-4688-a839-cd049e940926
Vas, J.
e620a405-d7c0-4812-87de-1e0fedabf24e
von Ammon, K.
326a0ff1-87e0-4428-9c94-7228ec41226a
Hegyi, G.
fd520ed3-dfa9-476e-a846-ccae1f8a44d8
Dragan, S.
22ddd6e5-ad59-4698-939d-2d2fdd8cd71a
Uehleke, B.
c7a774fb-a5d5-4b2e-8b04-be26e59f62f6
Fonnebo, V.
a22de59b-c710-4bdb-85f7-c0bb37f91f56
Lewith, G.
0fc483fa-f17b-47c5-94d9-5c15e65a7625

Eardley, S., Bishop, F.L., Prescott, P., Cardini, F., Brinkhaus, B., Santos-Rey, K., Vas, J., von Ammon, K., Hegyi, G., Dragan, S., Uehleke, B., Fonnebo, V. and Lewith, G. (2012) A systematic literature review of complementary and alternative medicine prevalence in EU. [in special issue: Insights into the Current Situation of CAM in Europe: Major Findings of the EU Project CAMbrella] Complementary Medicine Research: Practice, Methods, Perspectives, 19, supplement 2, 18-28. (doi:10.1159/000342708).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: Studies suggest that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is widely used in the European Union (EU). We systematically reviewed data, reporting research quality and the prevalence of CAM use by citizens in Europe; what it is used for, and why.

Methods: We searched for general population surveys of CAM use by using Ovid MEDLINE (1948 to September 2010), Cochrane Library (1989 to September 2010), CINAHL (1989 to September 2010), EMBASE (1980 to September 2010), PsychINFO including PsychARTICLES (1989 to September 2010), Web of Science (1989 to September 2010), AMED (1985 to September 2010), and CISCOM (1989 to September 2010). Additional studies were identified through experts and grey literature. Cross-sectional, population-based or cohort studies reporting CAM use in any EU language were included. Data were extracted and reviewed by 2 authors using a pre-designed extraction protocol with quality assessment instrument.

Results: 87 studies were included. Inter-rater reliability was good (kappa = 0.8). Study methodology and quality of reporting were poor. The prevalence of CAM use varied widely within and across EU countries (0.3–86%). Prevalence data demonstrated substantial heterogeneity unrelated to report quality; therefore, we were unable to pool data for meta-analysis; our report is narrative and based on descriptive statistics. Herbal medicine was most commonly reported. CAM users were mainly women. The most common reason for use was dissatisfaction with conventional care; CAM was widely used for musculoskeletal problems.

Conclusion: CAM prevalence across the EU is problematic to estimate because studies are generally poor and heterogeneous. A consistent definition of CAM, a core set of CAMs with country-specific variations and a standardised reporting strategy to enhance the accuracy of data pooling would improve reporting quality.

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More information

Published date: November 2012
Keywords: systematic review, european union, prevalence, complementary and alternative medicine
Organisations: Primary Care & Population Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 347564
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/347564
ISSN: 1661-4119
PURE UUID: 111d11e8-7620-4447-99ec-7f01d68ee3df
ORCID for F.L. Bishop: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-8737-6662

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 25 Jan 2013 13:56
Last modified: 09 Nov 2021 03:07

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Contributors

Author: S. Eardley
Author: F.L. Bishop ORCID iD
Author: P. Prescott
Author: F. Cardini
Author: B. Brinkhaus
Author: K. Santos-Rey
Author: J. Vas
Author: K. von Ammon
Author: G. Hegyi
Author: S. Dragan
Author: B. Uehleke
Author: V. Fonnebo
Author: G. Lewith

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