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J Altern Complement Med. 2001 Apr;7(2):195-208.

Surveys of complementary and alternative medicine: part I. General trends and demographic groups.

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  • 1Alternative Medicine Foundatio, Bethesda, MD 20814, USA.


Data from the surveys of the Harvard team, led by David Eisenberg, M.D., are frequently used as a summary first paragraph introduction to the status of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the United States. However, there is now a substantial body of literature on various facets of CAM use. Six national surveys to date are briefly discussed and summarized in a table. Some surveys have been conducted at a regional level. Three are summarized but there are too few data yet to draw any conclusions. Eighteen more exploratory surveys of specific subpopulations are presented to help draw a clearer picture of income, ethnic, and age groups. The search strategy is provided. The changing terminology in the field, the development of the CAM survey, and some common shortcomings are also addressed.

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