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Adolesc Med Clin. 2006 Oct;17(3):521-46; abstract ix.

Alternative and complementary therapies.

Author information

  • Adolescent Medicine Section, Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital and Medical Center, Seattle, WA 98105, USA. cora.breuner@seattlechildrens.org


The field of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is broad and diverse, comprising numerous therapeutic modalities. CAM therapies are viewed as either an adjunct or a complement to conventional treatment. As of 1997, 64% of United States medical schools included elective or required CAM courses. The number of CAM practitioners in the United States is projected to increase by 88% between 1994 and 2010, and the number of conventional physicians who incorporate CAM into their practices will increase by 16%. Patients and their parents can make various health care choices; doctors need to understand and respect these options, and to support them, if safe and effective.

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