In an article in the British Medical Journal, leading researcher Edzard
Ernst discusses the reasons for and the implications of the growing
popularity of complementary and alternative (CAM) medicine. According to
Ernst, recent surveys place the United Kingdom's one-year prevalence rate
of CAM at 20 percent. Herbalism, aromatherapy, acupuncture, massage, and
reflexology were among the most preferred modalities. Ernst analyzes the
mixed impetuses for this trend, ranging from criticism of conventional
medicine to the correlation between affluence and CAM usage.
growing popularity in the United Kingdom, the prevalence rate of CAM in
the UK still lags behind Germany (slightly over 60 percent) and the United
States (40 percent). He notes that while some hard evidence is available,
the current rationale for CAM use is still predominantly "opinion based"
and that more research is needed to determine both risk and cost benefits
of CAM treatments.
Source: Ernst E. The role of complementary and alternative medicine. BMJ.
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