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J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2000 Feb;23(2):123-6.

Public demand and the integration of complementary and alternative medicine in the US health care system.

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Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research, Davenport, Iowa 52803, USA.


Public use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) grew 25% between 1990 and 1997 and had a number of implications for chiropractic and the US health care system. Recent surveys describe the issues surrounding definitions of CAM; patterns of CAM use and its costs; attitudes of the public, health care providers and business entities; increasing scientific research; and changes in the health care system. Almost one third (192 million) of the 629 million visits to CAM providers in 1997 were to chiropractors. The new US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine have funded chiropractic and other CAM research as a regular part of its scientific portfolio. Health maintenance organizations and other health care business entities have created new markets for CAM services, including chiropractic. profession, chiropractic appears to be positioned somewhere between mainstream practice and CAM, with conflicting opinions held by the public, the health care industry, and chiropractors themselves. The benefits and risks of chiropractic being identified with the CAM movement must be weighed carefully.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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