The integration of bio-medicine and culturally based alternative medicine: implications for health care providers and patients

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are therapies used along with or in place of bio-medicine. Many forms of CAM originate in culture, referred to as culturally based alternative medicines. Usage of CAM is high with large numbers of patients using CAM for mental health, pain and musculoskeletal problems. Their desire for holistic care may be the impetus for this interest, as alternative care practitioners spend more time analyzing illness symptoms. These factors along with the global migration of immigrants accustomed to traditional medicine but now immersed in biomedical health care systems, has created potential for misunderstanding. Drug interactions for some forms of CAM taken with bio-medicine can occur. Insufficient scientific studies about CAM has reduced acceptance and educational opportunities to learn about CAM are limited. Ideas for policy and research are forming.


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