More than 80 million Americans use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) every year and the ranks are growing. CAM is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine. More than 68% of American adults have used at least one kind of CAM therapy.
The extensive use of CAM is dramatically changing the way conventional clinicians and healthcare systems view CAM. Increasingly, healthcare systems are offering courses in mind-body therapies. You can find more about mind-body classes and treatments through the Stanford Health Improvement Program course catelog and Stanford Center for Integrative Medicine. Clinicians also are asking patients about their CAM use. However, many alternative therapies are marketed with health claims that lack valid clinical trial evidence.
The Complementary and Alternative Medicine Program at Stanford (CAMPS)
aims to increase information about the effectiveness of CAM and its integration with conventional therapies. CAMPS is currently researching the efficacy of several popular nutritional supplements and especially the clinical effects of antioxidants.
Completed CAMPS studies have inquired
into multiple areas ranging from CAM in successful aging to its vast array of implications for personal behavior, medical practice, and public
policy. Read about current and completed research on the studies page.