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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 676490, 3 pages

How Much of CAM Is Based on Research Evidence?

Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, Exeter, UK

Received 13 February 2009; Accepted 23 April 2009

Copyright © 2011 Edzard Ernst. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this article is to provide a preliminary estimate of how much CAM is evidence-based. For this purpose, I calculated the percentage of 685 treatment/condition pairings evaluated in the “Desktop Guide to Complementary and Alternative Medicine” which are supported by sound data. The resulting figure was 7.4%. For a range of reasons, it might be a gross over-estimate. Further investigations into this subject are required to arrive at more representative figures.