Navigation Links
Time to Talk About CAM: Health Care Providers and Patients Need To Ask and Tell

BETHESDA, Md., June 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has launched Time to Talk, an educational campaign to encourage patients -- particularly those age 50 or older -- and their health care providers to openly discuss the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). 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, such as herbal supplements, meditation, naturopathy, and acupuncture.

According to a national consumer survey conducted by NCCAM and AARP, almost two-thirds of people age 50 or older are using some form of CAM, yet less than one-third of these CAM users talk about it with their providers. The NCCAM/AARP survey revealed some reasons why this doctor-patient dialogue about CAM does not occur. The most common reasons survey respondents cited were

-- That the physician never asked

-- They did not know they should discuss CAM

-- There was not enough time during the office visit.

More than one-half of respondents who had talked about CAM with their physician said they (not their physician) initiated the CAM discussion. The telephone survey was administered to a nationally representative group of 1,559 people age 50 or older.

"In an era of genomics and personalized medicine, we need to remember that a key ingredient to good health care is the dialogue you, as a patient, have with your providers," said Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., NIH Director. "And talking about what CAM therapies you use is an important part of that discussion. This is important for people of all ages."

The Time to Talk campaign is aimed at addressing the need for this dialogue to help ensure safe, coordinated care among all conventional and CAM therapies. Talking not only allows integrated care, it also minimizes risks of interactions with a patient's conventional treatments. When patients tell their providers about their CAM use, they can more effectively manage their health. When providers ask their patients about CAM use, they can ensure that they are fully informed and can help patients make wise health care decisions.

"As frequent users of CAM, people 50 and older need to understand the importance of discussing CAM use with their providers to ensure coordinated, safe care. Simply put, it's time to talk," said Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., NCCAM Director. "Giving your health care providers a full picture of what you do to manage your health helps you stay in control."

NCCAM's Time to Talk campaign encourages patients to tell their providers about CAM use and providers to ask about it by offering tools and resources -- such as wallet cards, posters, and tip sheets -- all of which are available for free on the NCCAM Web site ( or can be ordered from NCCAM's information Clearinghouse (1-888-644-6226). NCCAM is reaching out to professional associations and consumer organizations to help educate their members about the importance of this dialogue and the availability of NCCAM's campaign materials. As the Federal government's lead agency for scientific research on CAM, NCCAM is committed to educating both consumers and health care providers about the importance of discussing CAM and providing evidence- based information to help with health care decision making.

Patient Tips for Discussing CAM with Providers

-- When completing patient history forms, be sure to include all therapies

and treatments you use. Make a list in advance.

-- Tell your health care providers about all therapies or treatments -

including over-the-counter and prescription medicines, as well as

herbal and dietary supplements.

-- Take control. Don't wait for your providers to ask about your CAM use.

-- If you are considering a new CAM therapy, ask your health care

providers about its safety, effectiveness, and possible interactions

with medicines (both prescription and over-the-counter).

Provider Tips for Discussing CAM with Patients

-- Include a question about CAM use on medical history forms.

-- Ask your patients to bring a list of all therapies they use, including

prescription, over-the-counter, herbal therapies, and other CAM


-- Have your medical staff initiate the conversation.

For more information on Time to Talk, to order or download materials, or to read the full NCCAM/AARP report on CAM use communication, please visit

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine's mission is to explore complementary and alternative medical practices in the context of rigorous science, train CAM researchers, and disseminate authoritative information to the public and professionals. For additional information, call NCCAM's Clearinghouse toll-free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) -- The Nation's Medical Research Agency -- includes 27 institutes and centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

SOURCE National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Donate Life America Dispels Myths About Organ & Tissue Donation Among Hispanics During National Hispanic Heritage Month
2. Researchers estimate about 9 percent of US children age 8 to 15 meet criteria for having ADHD
3. New Survey Shows Americans are Still Concerned About Food Safety, Yet Still Not Smart About What They Like to Eat
4. The Philadelphia Walk Now for Autism Expected to Draw 10,000 Walkers and Raise $1 Million to Help Find Answers About the Nations Fastest-Growing Developmental Disorder
5. One of the Largest Post-WHI Physician Surveys Shows More Education is Needed: Patient Misinformation About Hormone Therapy Remains High
6. Middle School Marks Most Critical Time to Start Ongoing Conversations About Drug and Alcohol Use With Kids
7. The 7 Key Questions About the Schwarzenegger/Nunez Health Care Compromise
8. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Corrects News Story about Drug Coverage Announcement
9. Hospitals Agree to Pay Fees in Exchange for More Income, but Consumers in the Dark About What Theyll be Charged Under Nunez Plan
10. Health and Business Groups Launch Ad Campaign About Need for Comprehensive Smoke-Free Law in Pennsylvania
11. New Expert Report Dispels Common Myths About Aspartame
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article ... the way that they are handling security in light of the recent terrorist attacks ... in an attempt to stop an attack from reaching U.S. soil. Especially around special ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just ... is offering customers 10% off of their purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, ... price. According to a company spokesperson. “Finding lice is a sure way to ruin ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... well-respected Microsoft Dynamics SL User Group (MSDSLUG). Recognized as Microsoft’s official group for ... of Microsoft Dynamics SL software users, partners, industry experts and representatives. Intellitec Solutions’ ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The men and ... nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country. They have overseen financial turnarounds, shown commitment ... advance the healthcare industry as a whole through their advocacy and professional efforts. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Inevitably when people think ... customers choose to buy during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday massage chair ... to search the Internet high and low to find the best massage chair deals, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... North Carolina , 26 november 2015 ... Inc. (AAIPharma/CML) kondigt de geplande investering aan ... uitbreiding van de laboratoria en het mondiale ... . De uitbreiding zal resulteren in extra ... wordt voldaan aan de groeiende behoeften van ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... and Markets ( ) has announced the addition of ... - Rise in Cardiac Disorders and Growing Awareness among People ... Boston scientific and others. ... others. --> The market is dominated by ... scientific and others. Asia ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 ... the  "2016 Future Horizons and Growth ... Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Competitive Intelligence, ... --> ) has ... Future Horizons and Growth Strategies in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: