Research: CORRAO and COLLEAGUES,

Listed in Issue 223

Abstract

CORRAO and COLLEAGUES, (1)Biomedical Department of Internal Medicine and Subspecialties (DiBiMIS), Centre of Research for Effectiveness and Appropriateness in Medicine (CREAM), University of Palermo, Piazza delle Cliniche, 2, 90127, Palermo, Italy assessed the available information about CAMs using PubMed, to give practical instructions to manage information in this field.

Background

In recent years, there has been a growing interest about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and the use of CAM interventions has become more common among people. For these reasons, health professionals must be able to effectively manage information in this field of knowledge according to an evidence-based point of view.

Methodology

This study assessed the anatomy of the available information about CAMs using PubMed, to give practical instructions to manage information in this field. The authors also analyzed the anatomy of information according to each alternative medicine branch, narrow and broad search methods, subset filters for indexed-for-Medline and non-indexed citations, and different publication types including randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses.

Results

The results demonstrated that the use of CAMs subset (supplied by PubMed search engine) leads to a great number of citations determining an information overload. The data reveal that it would be more useful to search for the CAM separately, identifying specific items and study design. Moreover, we found the largest number of randomized clinical trials and meta-analyses related to herbal medicine and acupuncture, neither RCTs nor meta-analyses were available for Bach and flower remedies, auriculoacupuncture, iridology, and pranotherapy.

Conclusion

For the first time, the authors’ study gives a comprehensive view of the anatomy of information regarding CAMs and each branch of them. They suggest a methodological approach to face with searching information about this emerging issue from an evidence-based point of view. Finally, the data pointed out some ‘grey zones’ since neither RCTs nor meta-analyses were available for some CAMs.

References

Corrao S(1), Argano C, Colomba D, Ippolito C, Gargano V, Arcoraci V, Licata G. Comment on  Evid Based Nurs. 12(4):99-101. Oct 2009. Information management and complementary alternative medicine: the anatomy of information about CAMs through PubMed. Intern Emerg Med 8(7):627-34. doi: 10.1007/s11739-013-0997-8. Epub 2013. Sep 3. Oct 2013.   

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