BACKGROUND: The status of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) within the EU needs clarification. The definition and terminology of CAM is heterogeneous. The therapies, legal status, regulations and approaches used vary from country to country but there is widespread use by EU citizens. A coordination project funded by the EU has been launched to improve the knowledge about CAM in Europe. OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: The project aims to evaluate the conditions surrounding CAM use and provision in Europe and to develop a roadmap for European CAM research. Specific objectives are to establish an EU network involving centres of research excellence for collaborative projects, to develop consensus-based terminology to describe CAM interventions, to create a knowledge base that facilitates the understanding of patient demand for CAM and its prevalence, to review the current legal status and policies governing CAM provision, and to explore the needs and attitudes of EU citizens with respect to CAM. Based on this information a roadmap will be created that will enable sustainable and prioritised future European research in CAM. CAMbrella encompasses 16 academic research groups from 12 European countries and will run for 36 months starting from January 2010. The project will be delivered in 9 work packages coordinated by a Management Board and directed by a Scientific Steering Committee with support of an Advisory Board. OUTPUT: The outcomes generated will be disseminated through the project's website, peer review open access publications and a final conference, with emphasis on current and future EU policies, addressing different target audiences.
Forschende Komplementärmedizin, 2011, Vol 18, Issue 2, p. 69-76