(2004; 109 pages)
4. Topics to Consider when Developing Consumer Information Promoting Proper Use of TM/CAM
Information/education about the advantages and the disadvantages of certain TM/CAM therapies is key to enabling consumers to make an informed choice. This information may include issues such as methods of diagnosis and treatment, benefits, risks, philosophy of the TM/CAM therapy concerned, health promotion and maintenance strategies. However, the content will vary depending on the country- specific features of TM/CAM. For example, the structure of the health system and rate of TM/CAM utilization will influence the degree of familiarity with this kind of medicine and the level of knowledge among consumers.
National or local authorities need to decide which specific TM/CAM therapies should be included in the information initiatives. The popularity of TM/CAM therapies as well as safety, quality and efficacy concerns will determine which ones should be included. The national or international evidence base for a certain therapy may also influence its inclusion. The following sections outline different topics to consider when developing consumer information. These are summarized in table 1.