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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Complementary Alternative Medicine: Ethics, Theory and Practice

by Mara Wai, MEd 3 CE Credits

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a categorical term used to describe a range of medical and health care systems and/or therapeutic modalities, practices and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine – that is, medicine as traditionally practiced by physicians and allied health professionals (e.g., physical therapists, psychologists, nurses, counselors). The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognized CAM use not only as an alternative medical strategy, but also as a supplemental or complementary health care strategy. This course informs practitioners of the underlying theories associated with CAM and reviews the empirical evidence associated with the prevalence of its use and its efficacy. Individual patient predictors of CAM use are discussed and guidelines are provided to assist clinicians and healthcare professionals to ethically identify which patients may benefit from CAM use.


Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 3 Clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Current CAM Use in the United States
  • Predictors of CAM Use
  • Practice Patterns and Attitudes About CAM Among Healthcare Practitioners
  • Efficacy: Empirical vs. Anecdotal Data
  • Cost of CAM Therapies
  • The Future of CAM Use in the United States
  • Advising Patients About Alternative Therapies
  • Summary
  • References


Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Identify at least 5 diverse medical and health care systems, practices and products that fall within the realm of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)
  • Discuss the current base rates of CAM use among patients and the socio-ethnic differences regarding the uptake of CAM
  • Recognize at least 3 principles underlying effective CAM use and apply these principles to aid in the identification of patients likely to benefit from its use