A Guide to Evidence-based Integrative and Complementary Medicine.
Article Type: Book review
Subject: Books (Book reviews)
Author: Provino, Robert
Pub Date: 03/22/2011
Publication: Name: Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism Publisher: National Herbalists Association of Australia Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 National Herbalists Association of Australia ISSN: 1033-8330
Issue: Date: Spring, 2011 Source Volume: 23 Source Issue: 1
Topic: NamedWork: A Guide to Evidence-based Integrative and Complementary Medicine (Nonfiction work)
Persons: Reviewee: Kotsirilos, Vicki; Vitetta, Luis; Sali, Avni
Accession Number: 254971785
Full Text: A Guide to Evidence-based Integrative and Complementary Medicine

By By Vicki Kotsirilos, Luis Vitetta and Avni Sali

Publisher: Elsevier Australia

ISBN 978 072 953908 1

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A textbook on integrative medicine demands some authority and this book lives up to its title. The authors are well qualified and experienced in medicine and/or integrative medicine with general practitioner Dr Vicki Kotsirilos having founded the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association in 1992.

The text is divided into three parts with Part 1 being more of an overview and introduction to integrative and complementary medicine. The introduction to holistic health care and naturopathic principles appears to have been written for novices in this area. The chapter includes descriptions of integrative medicine (IM) as opposed to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and the National and Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) levels of evidence, the importance of which become evident throughout the book.

Qualified naturopaths may find some of the material in Chapter 2 'old hat', but it does contain some referenced tables linking clinical symptoms and signs with possible micronutrient deficiencies--a very handy reference tool to have in clinic. Other tables highlight supplements that can be used in treating certain conditions as well as linking food habits with suggested supplementation. These latter tables only take up four pages but once again they present a handy quick reference evidence based tool for clinical practice.

Part 2 of the text consists of 34 chapters dealing with common clinical problems ranging from age related macular degeneration to rheumatoid arthritis and includes conditions such as cancer, dementia, oral health disorders, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.

The chapters look at the etiology and epidemiology of the condition as well as lifestyle and other risk factors. There are sections devoted to the mind/body medical aspects of the relevant condition and each chapter examines the nutritional and herbal therapeutic interventions appropriate for the condition. All the material is evidence based and extensively referenced.

Each chapter includes a table summarising the levels of evidence for lifestyle and complementary therapies in the management of the particular condition using the NHMRC grading system. The chapters conclude with a clinical tips handout for patients. The authors suggest that these can be copied for the practitioner to use as a quick reference and can also be given to patients. As these handouts include herbal and supplement treatment protocols, it may be wise to only copy lifestyle and dietary information for patients so as not to encourage self prescribing.

Part 3 of the book examines the precautions to be exercised when practising complementary medicine, with one chapter solely devoted to herb/nutrient/drug interactions and another looking at adverse reactions to complementary medicines.

Appendix 1 is a comprehensive listing of the food sources of macronutrients, micronutrients, phytonutrients and chemicals. Appendix 2 details the drug/nutrient/ herb interactions for a range of commonly prescribed medications.

Overall this book is a thoroughly referenced evidence based text on integrative medicine dealing with a range of common disorders seen in clinical practice, although it does appear to be geared more to the medically qualified practitioner with its emphasis on evidence based medicine, but this can only be viewed as a positive step toward CAM therapies being taken seriously. The book may encourage doctors to be more understanding and accepting of their patients' desires to integrate CAM therapies with conventional treatment.

All health practitioners should find the text a handy reference tool and useful addition to their library. Advanced students of naturopathy may find it invaluable for assignments. The book has a scratch off panel concealing a PIN on the inside cover to allow purchasers access to the complete contents of the book online.

There are two copies available at the NHAA Library with one being reference only.
Gale Copyright: Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.