Results of CAMBRELLA

The project ran from 2010 to 2012. The CAMbrella research team’s (60) findings are fully consistent with WHO documents and can be summarized as follows:

High popularity of CAM among EU patients

“…utilisation of specific methods such as acupuncture, homeopathy, (…) has increased exponentially in Western industrialised nations over the last 25 years.” (see p. 104)
“Citizens in the EU wish to have access to increased and diverse CAM provision.” (see p. 109)
“Citizens express a wish for more support and acknowledgement regarding their CAM use.” (see p. 110)
“Citizens need easily accessible and trustworthy information…” (see p. 110)

High number of CAM providers in Europe

“CAM provision in the EU27+12 is maintained by more than 150,000 registered medical doctors (MDs) with additional CAM certification and more than 180,000 registered and certified non-medical CAM practitioners. This suggests up to 65 CAM providers (35 nonmedical practitioners and 30 physicians) per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to the EU figures of 95 general medical practitioners per 100,000 inhabitants.” (see p. 113)

Inconsistencies in legislations and terminology within the EU

“The organisation and regulation of health care is a national responsibility within the European Union. There is no common approach to the regulation of CAM practice in Europe.” (see p. 108)
“The status of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in Europe is characterised by enormous heterogeneity in all aspects, including the terminology used, the methods provided, the prevalence, as well as the national legal status and regulation.” (see p. 104)

A lack of reliable CAM research in Europe, especially in the new member states

“CAM is a neglected area of research…” (see p. 104)
“European research in the field of CAM is limited and our knowledge about CAM is very poor.” (see p. 117)
“Scientific bias hampers the free exchange of ideas, concepts, treatment techniques and comparison of clinical outcomes.” (see p. 117)

A lack of public financial support

“There is almost no significant investment in any EU country in a CAM research structure or strategy.” (see p. 117)
“Compared to other regions such as North America, Asia and Australia the level of investment in CAM is low in Europe.” (see p. 104)
“Europe lags well behind other regions such as North America, Asia and Australia in terms of the level of investment in CAM research and the integration of research results into health policy and health regulation.” (see p. 116)

On page 103 (and the following pages) we cite selected passages from the Final CAMbrella Report, which was presented at the European Parliament in November 2012.