Article

Challenges in systematic reviews of complementary and alternative medicine topics

Southern California Evidence-based Practice Center, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California 90401, USA.
Annals of internal medicine (Impact Factor: 16.1). 07/2005; 142(12 Pt 2):1042-7.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) continues to grow in the United States. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has devoted a substantial proportion of the Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) program to systematic reviews of CAM. Such syntheses present different challenges from those conducted on western medicine topics, and in many ways are more difficult. We discuss 3 challenges: identifying evidence about CAM, assessing the quality of individual studies, and addressing rare serious adverse events. We use illustrations from EPC evidence reports to show readers approaches to the 3 areas and then present specific recommendations for each issue.

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    • "The World Health Organization (WHO) insists that the safety of herbal medicines is a critical component in the quality control of healthcare products. However, lack of adequate regulations , the pharmacological complexity of herbal products, and the insufficiency of information on the pharmacology and toxicity of these compounds are sometimes becoming medical issues, even though the side effects are minimal [4] [5]. "
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    • "Indeed, accessing research literature published in the Chinese language perhaps needs to become a sine qua non in this type of literature review. This is challenging, requiring access to Chinese language readers [39] [40]. It was possible in this study only because one of the project team members (M.X.) was native Chinese. "
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