Complementary and alternative medicine

Adrian Furnham on the role of psychology in understanding the dramatic rise of alternative therapies.
Research and royals, patients and politicians, counsellors and clinicians – all have recently taken a considerable interest in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Fringe, unconventional, unorthodox, natural and folk medicine have come in from the cold, and CAM is now big business under this new label (Ernst & Furnham, 2000). CAM seems to be favourably perceived by many general practitioners (Easthope et al., 2000). Indeed the rise of CAM has led to a House of Lords inquiry into six aspects of CAM: evidence, information, research, training, regulation and risk, and NHS provision (Ernst, 2000).

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