GPs need more information on alternative medicine use

INFORMATION about complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) should be written into clinical guidelines for the management of chronic disease, according to a study.

Monash University researchers conducted a content analy­sis of current Australian clinical and non-clinical guidelines on the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and concluded that GPs needed more information on alternative medicines.

“When available, the CAM-relevant information was brief, in some cases unclear, inconclusive and lacking in direction to the GP or healthcare provider,” researchers wrote. 

With few of the almost 70% of Australians who use CAM products – particularly for chronic or recurrent conditions – disclosing usage to their GP, researchers recommended the development of national CAM-communication guidelines.

“We argue the value of all chronic condition management guidelines