Complementary and alternative medicine/Bibliography

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A list of key readings about Complementary and alternative medicine.
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  • Alpert JS (1995) The relativity of alternative medicine. Arch Intern Med 155:2385. This editorial argues that traditional medicine should approach alternative therapy using five principles:

1. Maintain an open-minded attitude about all potentially new therapeutic interventions that include those commonly referred to as alternative.

2. Encourage carefully performed and appropriately controlled studies of these new therapies.

3. Do not ignore or ridicule the potential of the placebo effect to produce marked therapeutic benefit.

4. Do not accept all new therapies as efficacious on first acquaintance. Practitioners of quack medicine continue to abound as in all earlier times. Claims of therapeutic efficacy should be rationally examined and tested.

5. Avoid hubristic and arrogant attitudes toward alternative medical practices because one might be embarrassed by the subsequent demonstrations of their clinical efficacy.