Information management and complementary alternative medicine: the anatomy of information about CAMs through PubMed

Christiano Argano, Salvatore Corrao, Giuseppe Licata, Calogero Ippolito, Vincenzo Gargano, Vincenzo Arcoraci, Salvatore Corrao, Daniela Colomba

Risultato della ricerca: Article

1 Citazioni (Scopus)


In recent years, there has been a growing interest about complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), and the use of CAM interventions has become more common among people. For these reasons, health professionals must be able to effectively manage information in this field of knowledge according to an evidence-based point of view. This study assessed the anatomy of the available information about CAMs using PubMed, to give practical instructions to manage information in this field. We also analyzed the anatomy of information according to each alternative medicine branch, narrow and broad search methods, subset filters for indexed-for-Medline and non-indexed citations, and different publication types including randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and meta-analyses. Our results demonstrated that the use of CAMs subset (supplied by PubMed search engine) leads to a great number of citations determining an information overload. Our data reveal that it would be more useful to search for the CAM separately, identifying specific items and study design. Moreover, we found the largest number of randomized clinical trials and meta-analyses related to herbal medicine and acupuncture, neither RCTs nor meta-analyses were available for bach and flower remedies, auriculoacupuncture, iridology, and pranotherapy. For the first time, our study gives a comprehensive view of the anatomy of information regarding CAMs and each branch of them. We suggest a methodological approach to face with searching information about this emerging issue from an evidence-based point of view. Finally, our data pointed out some ``grey zones{'' since neither RCTs nor meta-analyses were available for some CAMs.}
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)627-634
Numero di pagine8
RivistaInternal and Emergency Medicine
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine

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