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Review highlights need for more education and guidance on CAM use in midwifery
Date:2/23/2011

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasingly popular in maternity care, but healthcare professionals need formal evidence-based education and guidance about its use, according to a review in the March issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing.

There is also need for greater respect and cooperation between conventional and alternative practitioners and improved communication with patients about the growing use of CAM.

University-based members of the Network of Researchers in the Public Health of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NORPHCAM) reviewed 19 studies covering the views of more than 3,000 maternity professionals from Australia, Canada, the USA, UK, Germany, New Zealand and Israel.

The studies, which were all based on interviews or surveys, were published between 1999 and 2009, 13 in the last five years.

"There is no doubt that the popularity of CAM including acupuncture, chiropractic, naturopathy, herbal medicine and yoga has grown in recent years" says lead author Dr Jon Adams, Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, Australia, and Executive Director of NORPHCAM.

"The use of CAM during pregnancy has been debated by practitioners and policy makers around the world and it is clear that there is a real need to develop an integrated approach to maternity care. However this has been hampered by a lack of understanding of the attitudes and practice of mainstream maternity care professionals towards CAM. Our review aimed to provide a clearer picture by pulling together a wide range of published studies based on interviews and surveys."

Key findings from the most recent 2008 and 2009 studies include:

  • A survey of 343 midwives from Canada and New Zealand found that 72% had recommended or offered CAM. The most common referrals were to homeopaths (51%), acupuncturists (50%), naturopaths (48%), chiropractors (36%), massage therapists (31%) and o
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Contact: Annette Whibley
wizard.media@virgin.net
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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