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Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2010 Sep-Oct;123(9-10):377-84.

Evidence-based complementary and alternative veterinary medicine--a contradiction in terms?

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  • 1Clinic for Animal Reproduction, Faculty of Veterinarian Medicine, Free University Berlin, Berlin, Germany.


Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) like acupuncture, herbal medicine and homeopathy is increasingly used in the treatment of human and animal disease. On the other hand, CAM is discussed controversially, especially in the context of Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine (EBVM). This paper provides a balanced analysis of the currently available data on CAM in human and veterinary medicine. In conclusion, little rigorous research data concerning the efficacy and safety of CAM has been published. However, acupuncture is gaining increasing acceptance in academic medicine, based on several metaanalyses that show efficacy for specific conditions. In practice, decisions concerning CAM therapies should also be based on the best available evidence provided by scientifically valid data. This implies that CAM interventions must be validated by stringent high quality research to obtain an objective and replicable overview of efficacy and safety. Nevertheless, trials should be designed according to important aspects of CAM therapies (e.g. individual treatment). In conclusion, Evidence-Based Alternative Veterinary Medicine is not a contradiction in terms.

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