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CAM treatments for cough and sore throat as part of an uncomplicated acute respiratory tract infection: a systematic review of prescription rates and a survey among European integrative medical practitioners

CAM treatments for cough and sore throat as part of an uncomplicated acute respiratory tract infection: a systematic review of prescription rates and a survey among European integrative medical practitioners
CAM treatments for cough and sore throat as part of an uncomplicated acute respiratory tract infection: a systematic review of prescription rates and a survey among European integrative medical practitioners

Introduction: Most Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) interventions have not been tested in clinical trials and systematic reviews (SRs). It is therefore important to collect knowledge from experienced practitioners to identify (lower level) evidence to support their use and to prioritize interventions for future research. This study aimed to document the CAM treatments for cough and sore throat as part of uncomplicated, acute respiratory tract infections (RTI), most frequently recommended by experienced integrative medical practitioners; and to assess whether these approaches have been tested in clinical trials and SRs. Methods: Data on treatment approaches were collected by means of (1) a SR on prescription rates of CAM treatments for RTIs in CAM practice by searching Pubmed and CINAHL databases; and (2) a survey among integrative medical doctors and TCM practitioners in five European countries. Results: The SR identified 336 articles. After screening five studies were included (Anthroposophic Medicine (AM): two and homeopathy (HOM): three). The survey resulted in 262 responses (including 99 AM and 95 HOM experts). Of 19 products that were described in both the SR and the survey, two (22%) AM (Hustenelixier, Echinacea) and three (30%) homeopathic products (Belladonna, Hepar sulphuris, Mercurius solubilis) had been studied in a clinical trial and one AM treatment (Echinacea) in a SR for this indication. Conclusions: CAM treatments for RTI related cough and sore throat were identified (medicinal products, syrup, external applications, tea and acupuncture). These treatments have hardly been studied in clinical trials (26%) and SRs (5%) and require further evaluation.

antimicrobial resistance, complementary medicine, integrative medical practitioners, respiratory tract infection, survey, systematic review
1876-3820
Baars, Erik W.
a86e7a2d-1dc5-415b-b3e9-750f5781b173
Belt-Van Zoen, Eefje
5f4b68f1-a46c-4134-bc09-d4408016e360
Willcox, Merlin
dad5b622-9ac2-417d-9b2e-aad41b64ffea
Huber, Roman
20df70a6-dbdf-42f4-80e8-ede5517b1d12
Hu, Xiao Yang
65904b24-3775-4b14-9532-eb703a056655
van der Werf, Esther T.
4c8729ca-cc0a-4e3a-bf94-ea1b2576b16b
Baars, Erik W.
a86e7a2d-1dc5-415b-b3e9-750f5781b173
Belt-Van Zoen, Eefje
5f4b68f1-a46c-4134-bc09-d4408016e360
Willcox, Merlin
dad5b622-9ac2-417d-9b2e-aad41b64ffea
Huber, Roman
20df70a6-dbdf-42f4-80e8-ede5517b1d12
Hu, Xiao Yang
65904b24-3775-4b14-9532-eb703a056655
van der Werf, Esther T.
4c8729ca-cc0a-4e3a-bf94-ea1b2576b16b

Baars, Erik W., Belt-Van Zoen, Eefje, Willcox, Merlin, Huber, Roman, Hu, Xiao Yang and van der Werf, Esther T. (2020) CAM treatments for cough and sore throat as part of an uncomplicated acute respiratory tract infection: a systematic review of prescription rates and a survey among European integrative medical practitioners. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 39, [101194]. (doi:10.1016/j.eujim.2020.101194).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Introduction: Most Complementary & Alternative Medicine (CAM) interventions have not been tested in clinical trials and systematic reviews (SRs). It is therefore important to collect knowledge from experienced practitioners to identify (lower level) evidence to support their use and to prioritize interventions for future research. This study aimed to document the CAM treatments for cough and sore throat as part of uncomplicated, acute respiratory tract infections (RTI), most frequently recommended by experienced integrative medical practitioners; and to assess whether these approaches have been tested in clinical trials and SRs. Methods: Data on treatment approaches were collected by means of (1) a SR on prescription rates of CAM treatments for RTIs in CAM practice by searching Pubmed and CINAHL databases; and (2) a survey among integrative medical doctors and TCM practitioners in five European countries. Results: The SR identified 336 articles. After screening five studies were included (Anthroposophic Medicine (AM): two and homeopathy (HOM): three). The survey resulted in 262 responses (including 99 AM and 95 HOM experts). Of 19 products that were described in both the SR and the survey, two (22%) AM (Hustenelixier, Echinacea) and three (30%) homeopathic products (Belladonna, Hepar sulphuris, Mercurius solubilis) had been studied in a clinical trial and one AM treatment (Echinacea) in a SR for this indication. Conclusions: CAM treatments for RTI related cough and sore throat were identified (medicinal products, syrup, external applications, tea and acupuncture). These treatments have hardly been studied in clinical trials (26%) and SRs (5%) and require further evaluation.

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More information

Published date: October 2020
Additional Information: Funding Information: MLW’s salary was funded by NIHR under grant CL-2016-26-005. Funding Information: This study has been funded by JPIAMR (JPIAMRWG-12; ZonMW project nr: 547001011) under the frame of the 4 th JPIAMR call: “AMR Networks/ Working Groups” and was co-funded by WALA (Germany) and Sustainable Business Institute (Germany). Publisher Copyright: © 2020 The Author(s) Copyright: Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
Keywords: antimicrobial resistance, complementary medicine, integrative medical practitioners, respiratory tract infection, survey, systematic review

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 448604
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/448604
ISSN: 1876-3820
PURE UUID: d84db51f-8ae8-412c-a3db-f95cd612c4ea
ORCID for Merlin Willcox: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5227-3444
ORCID for Xiao Yang Hu: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3143-7999

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 Apr 2021 16:31
Last modified: 28 Apr 2022 02:18

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Contributors

Author: Erik W. Baars
Author: Eefje Belt-Van Zoen
Author: Merlin Willcox ORCID iD
Author: Roman Huber
Author: Xiao Yang Hu ORCID iD
Author: Esther T. van der Werf

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