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Mayo Clin Proc. 2010 June; 85(6): e43.
PMCID: PMC2878271

The ACP Evidence-Based Guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Reviewed by Amit Sood, MD, MSc

edited by  Bradley P. Jacobs and  Katherine Gundling,  476 pp, with illus,  $64.95,  Philadelphia, PA,  American College of Physicians (800-523-1546),  2009, ISBN  978-1-934465-04-2.

Grading Key [large star][large star][large star][large star][large star] = outstanding; [large star][large star][large star][large star] = excellent; [large star][large star][large star] = good; [large star][large star] = fair; [large star] = poor

Type and Scope of Book:

A multiauthored review of the current state of knowledge of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments of specific medical conditions.


The book provides an authoritative review of evidence base for CAM approaches toward specific medical conditions. The format of the book is laid out to specifically address the needs of the busy clinician. At the end of each chapter, a comprehensive yet succinct table summarizes the entire data for a quick review. For a physician new to CAM, the initial section provides excellent review of the basic concepts of CAM. A useful appendix summarizes particular aspects of some of the less well understood CAM modalities. The book is well-referenced.


The book is readable and well-organized and provides a consistent methodical approach throughout the text. Clinical evidence has been evaluated using the GRADE system, which provides an easy-to-follow structure throughout the book. The tables are extremely useful.


The book takes a fairly reductionist approach toward CAM. Most of the text is devoted to dietary supplements, primarily covering negative or inconclusive data. Mind-body medicine is inadequately represented. The book reflects the tone of systematic reviews of CAM modalities for specific medical conditions without covering the subtleties of integrative medicine.

Recommended Readership:

Physicians and allied health practitioners.

Overall Grading:

[large star][large star][large star]

Articles from Mayo Clinic Proceedings are provided here courtesy of The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research