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BP Jacobs, K Gundling American College of Physicians. 2009. 452 pp., CAN$69.95 ISBN-13: 978-1-934465-04-2.
The utilization of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) therapies is increasing, and the evidence on its effectiveness needs to be monitored for utilization in an evidence based paradigm.
“The ACP Evidence Based Guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicine” by Bradley P. Jacobs and Katherine Gundling accomplishes this task by providing a comprehensive and thorough reference guide for general practitioners. The authors provide an understanding of CAM therapies utilized by patients in conjunction with their pharmaceutical therapies, and the evidence to make recommendations about these practices.
The text is organized to allow the reader to completely understand and evaluate the evidence for CAM therapies. Part 1 provides an overview of the vocabulary commonly used in CAM therapies followed by a section that provides tips to facilitate the utilization of CAM in a general practice. Part 2 is a series of twelve chapters which highlight common conditions to which CAM therapies are often used.
Within each chapter, the prevalence of CAM utilization is identified followed by a review of the evidence. The authors also include “Evidence Summary Charts” which identify the evidence about specific therapies, strength of the evidence and recommendations. A caution should be made that much of the evidence included had conflicting statistical significance; and clinicians should evaluate the clinical significance of the evidence provided and weigh the potential risks and benefits when making recommendations.
Overall, this text is recommended to facilitate an understanding of CAM and to provide the evidence to make recommendations about CAM therapies.