An introduction to complementary & alternative medicine (CAM)Welcome to this introductory unit on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for library techniciansat Langara College. Please read this CAM introduction on HLWIKI Canada. For those interested in NationalPublic Radio, I recommend listening to this this (4 min.) news story on the risks associated with "kava kava",a complementary supplement. It discusses CAM within the context of a landmark study of the use of CAM.The area of CAM treatment is sometimes viewed unfavourably by doctors. And yet, it is very popular amongconsumers and patients. For patients with health problems that cannot be cured by conventional orWestern medicine, CAM gives hope for a happier and healthier life. What are some of these alternativepractices? Remedies that lie outside the mainstream include acupuncture, aromatherapy, herbalsupplements, massage, meditation, reiki, vitamins, yoga and prayer.According to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, there are five (5) CAMdomains. In Canada, we have Health Canada which oversees herbals and supplements via the Drugs andHealth Products Directorate.Many medical professionals encourage patients to visit naturopaths or holistic healers, but some dont (forinformation about naturopathy, see the BC Naturopathic Association). Some doctors view chiropractors asCAM practitioners and the debate for and against chiropractic care is seen as healthy for the profession.In terms of supplements, CAM is a multi-billion dollar business in Canada and the U.S. But misleadinginformation is a big problem, especially in unethical promotion and selling of CAM products over the Web.Use the phrase caveat emptor (buyer beware) to remind library patrons about buying products over theWeb. (For a good overview and FAQs, see here.)Some physicians feel that CAM needs independent monitoring. Quackwatch is a well-known site used toalert patients about questionable or suspicious medical practices - known as quackery. Some librarians dontlike the overall mission of Quackwatch and say that doctors who operate it are biased and overstate thecase against CAM. What do you think? (Heres a typical FDA warning.)Why is CAM popular? Is it safe? How does the field affect library service?There are many reasons why consumers and patients use CAM. We explore these during the weeksactivities. Due to poor quality of many products sold in drugstores and health stores, and few reliablescientific trials, there are problems with policing CAM in Canada. Health Canada is responsible for ensuringall products for sale here are safe for consumers. This is where the principles of evidence-based medicinemay help CAM establish scientific credibility, and prevent needless problems for consumers.
An introduction to complementary & alternative medicine (CAM)Library technicians who encounter reference questions aboutCAM are advised to be cautious about the web, and to issuedisclaimers even with their print collections used inreference. Any consumer taking prescribed medicationsshould inform their doctors about any CAM products orprocedures they are using. Some prescription drugs, forexample, interact with simple foods like grapefruit and herbs,and can cause adverse reactions. (Health Canada has a goodoverview to this topic.)Library technicians should be acquainted with the generalissues of CAM that have an impact on consumers andpatients. When providing health information in general (and not just specifically CAM) it is important to leadusers to the most reliable information. Sometimes, the reference interview includes helping consumers torecognize unsafe practices and dangerous websites. Some CAM practices that promote cures (where noneare likely) or sites with miraculous claims may conflict with conventional medicine.Library technicians can always direct consumers back to their health care professionals for advice and/ orassistance. Library staff always have a fallback position - referral! Sometimes, due to a diagnosis of acomplex (or terminal) illness, patients can be desperate for information. Generally, patients wantinformation in an easy to read and understand format. This is often why search engines, while popular, canbe problematic for patients if they are in distress, and particularly if they are desperate to find help in theform of information.Similar to what you see in business and law, the range of reliable (and unreliable) information sources isconsiderable. It is therefore essential for library techs to know how to help patrons assess and evaluatewebsites. Helpful tips will enable consumers and patients to use simple evaluation criteria to lead toauthoritative, reliable, trustworthy information. This is an important function in a consumer health or publiclibrary. We will discuss this in more detail in the powerpoints. An introduction to CAM for Library Technicians Here is a powerpoint presentation and voice-over MP3 file synchronized to the presentation. CAM for library technicians: sources of information View another webinar from Dean Giustini
An introduction to complementary & alternative medicine (CAM)Complementary & Alternative BooksThis module is intended to introduce you to a variety of print sources of information in complementary andalternative medicine, as well as the major types of CAM therapies (list below). Ive selected websites, printand eBooks to review; since you may have some difficulty reviewing these sources physically in libraries orin bookstores, you can follow the links and view some of the pages and bibliographic details instead. Readsome of the available sections inside these books via Google Books, Amazon or Barnes and Noble (U.S.)Book reviews, readers comments, etc.! You can also search for books in Google Print. It is important (and apart of your education) to go to a library and examine some print materials. Try your local public library;look at the access points, subject access, and other information in the catalogue. What types of subjectheadings are used; popular authors; publishers and call numbers. Do you have some observations that youcan share with your classmates? Ive included controversial sites such as Male Pregnancy and Bee StingTherapy. If you get a patron asking for your opinion about some of these controversial websites, what willyou do? • The Canadian encyclopedia of natural medicine • The complementary and alternative medicine information source book, Alan M. Rees • Complementary Medicine for dummies • Gale Encyclopedia of alternative medicine • The handbook of clinically tested herbal remedies • PDR for herbal medicines - Gruenwald, 3e and Amazons copy • Veterinary herbal medicine • Zen shiatsu: how to harmonize yin and yang for better healthWhat makes these websites so helpful? • BC Cancer Agency Library: Recommended Websites • BCCAs Complementary and Alternative Cancer Therapies webpage • Health Canada: Reporting Adverse Reaction to Drugs and Other Health Products • NCCAM website - good, basic information • CAM on PubMed search for clinical trials • Nursing Indexes (Langara) • MedlinePlus CAM topics - browse for specific topic • Intl database on dietary supplements - free citations
An introduction to complementary & alternative medicine (CAM)Frequently-asked about CAM MethodsAcupuncture ("Ack-you-punk-sure") is a method of healing developed in China at least 2,000 years ago.Today, acupuncture describes a family of procedures involving stimulation of anatomical points on the bodyby a variety of techniques. American practices of acupuncture incorporate medical traditions from China,Japan, Korea, and other countries. The acupuncture technique that has been most studied scientificallyinvolves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or byelectrical stimulation.Aromatherapy ("ah-roam-uh-THER-ah-py"): involves the use of essential oils (extracts or essences) fromflowers, herbs, and trees to promote health and well-being.Ayurveda ("ah-yur-VAY-dah") is a CAM alternative medical system that has been practiced primarily in theIndian subcontinent for 5,000 years. Ayurveda includes diet and herbal remedies and emphasizes the use ofbody, mind, and spirit in disease prevention and treatment.Chiropractic ("kye-roh-PRAC-tic") is a CAM alternative medical system. It focuses on the relationshipbetween bodily structure (primarily that of the spine) and function, and how that relationship affects thepreservation and restoration of health. Chiropractors use manipulative therapy as an integral treatmenttool.Dietary supplements The U.S. defined "dietary supplement" in the Dietary Supplement Health andEducation Act (DSHEA) of 1994. A dietary supplement is a product (other than tobacco) taken by mouth thatcontains a "dietary ingredient" intended to supplement the diet. Dietary ingredients may include vitamins,minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and substances such as enzymes, organ tissues, andmetabolites. Dietary supplements come in extracts, concentrates, tablets, capsules, gel caps, liquids, andpowders. They have special requirements for labeling.Electromagnetic fields (EMFs, also called electric and magnetic fields) are invisible lines of force thatsurround all electrical devices. The Earth produces EMFs; electric fields are produced when there isthunderstorm activity, and magnetic fields are believed to be produced by electric currents flowing at theEarths core.Homeopathic ("home-ee-oh-PATH-ic") medicine is a CAM alternative medical system. In homeopathicmedicine, there is a belief that "like cures like," meaning that small, highly diluted quantities of medicinalsubstances are given to cure symptoms, when the same substances given at higher or more concentrateddoses would actually cause those symptoms.
An introduction to complementary & alternative medicine (CAM)Massage ("muh-SAHJ") therapists manipulate muscle and connective tissue to enhance function of thosetissues and promote relaxation and well-being.Naturopathic ("nay-chur-o-PATH-ic") medicine, or naturopathy, is a CAM alternative medical system.Naturopathic medicine proposes that there is a healing power in the body that establishes, maintains, andrestores health. Practitioners work with the patient with a goal of supporting this power, throughtreatments such as nutrition and lifestyle counseling, dietary supplements, medicinal plants, exercise,homeopathy, and treatments from traditional Chinese medicine.Qi gong ("chee-GUNG") is a component of traditional Chinese medicine that combines movement,meditation, and regulation of breathing to enhance the flow of qi (an ancient term given to what is believedto be vital energy) in the body, improve blood circulation, and enhance immune function.Reiki ("RAY-kee") is a Japanese word representing Universal Life Energy. Reiki is based on the belief thatwhen spiritual energy is channeled through a Reiki practitioner, the patients spirit is healed, which in turnheals the physical body.Therapeutic Touch is derived from an ancient technique called laying-on of hands. It is based on thepremise that the healing force of the therapist affects the patients recovery; healing is promoted when thebodys energies are in balance; and, by passing their hands over the patient, healers can identify energyimbalances.Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is the current name for an ancient system of health care from China.TCM is based on a concept of balanced qi (pronounced "chee"), or vital energy, that is believed to flowthroughout the body. Qi is proposed to regulate a persons spiritual, emotional, mental, and physicalbalance and to be influenced by the opposing forces of yin (negative energy) and yang (positive energy).Disease is proposed to result from the flow of qi being disrupted and yin and yang becoming imbalanced.Among the components of TCM are herbal and nutritional therapy, restorative physical exercises,meditation, acupuncture, and remedial massage.
An introduction to complementary & alternative medicine (CAM) Week 12 - Website evaluationKeep your evaluation to 2-3 pages. Value: 10%Value: 10% Date Due: August 1st 2011In health libraries, the ability to quickly and accurately assess and evaluate the reliability of consumerwebsites is a core skill for reference staff. After a while, you begin to see the wide variety of websites andlearn to trust a select few tools such as MedlinePlus. With patients, you learn early that it is important toissue warnings and disclaimers about the web and always add: ask your doctor!Your job on this assignment is to select a consumer or CAM website, and evaluate it using one of the manycriteria discussed on the powerpoints. Keep in mind that you will want to be highly critical while pointingout the aspects of the website that are useful, or helpful. • Select one of the websites on the Top Ten Consumer Websites (U.S. Medical Library Associations list) or any of the Top Ten (10) Canadian Health Websites 2010. All of these sites are highly recommended; the goal of this assignment is to highlight websites that are among the best CAM or consumer websites and get you to think about why they are highly-rated. • Determine why you believe that these websites are good sources of information, or why you believe they need improvement (ie. functionality, web design, etc.) I encourage critical appraisal! • Evaluation of information is a challenge for all of us working in health libraries. But even if you dont know whether the information you provide to a patron is accurate, point out that it was written by a well-qualified professional (from a nurse, doctor, pharmacist or association) or is taken from an authoritative source (books, journals, PubMed, etc). • Following one of the criteria mentioned (ie. BC Cancer, HON) will provide structure for your evaluation. You can follow one list or two - try to add your own creative elements if and where you feel it is needed.Please ask for further assistance. I hope this is an enjoyable experience! I look forward to reading yourevaluations (but will penalize submissions over three pages!) Happy evaluating~ Keep your evaluation to 2-3 pages. "Brevity is the soul of wit" - Shakespeare