S12: CAMbrella: A Pan-European Research Network for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Wolfgang Weidenhammer1, Johanna Hoek2, George Lewith3, Klaus von Ammon4

1Competence Centre for Complementary Medicine & Naturopathy, Techn. Univ. Munich, Germanny ;2Research group Integrative Care, Dept. Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden;3Complementary and Integrated Medicine Research Unit, University of Southampton, UK;4Institute of Complementary Medicine KIKOM, University of Bern, Switzerland


Estimates suggest that 150 million Europeans use CAM annually but reliable data are scarce. CAM is defined in various and sometimes contradictory ways within Europe and the national legal status of CAM is sometimes unclear. To overcome these knowledge gaps the EU Framework Programme project (FP7/2007-2013, GA No. 241951), CAMbrella, has been funded.  The overall goals of this 3-year coordination project are to describe situation of CAM in the EU and based on this to develop a roadmap for future CAM research. The following specific issues will be addressed: 1) Develop consensus on definitions for the terminology of the major CAM interventions used in Europe. 2) Review the current legal status of CAM in EU states. 3) Explore the needs and attitudes of EU citizens with respect to CAM. 4) Create a knowledge base that allows an evaluation of the patients’ demands for CAM and the prevalence of its use in Europe. 5) Explore the providers’ perspectives of CAM treatment in Europe. 6) Map international research strategies and the status of CAM within health care policy and relate the current EU situation to this global context. 7) Propose an appropriate research strategy for CAM taking into account issues of effectiveness, safety, costs and regulation.  CAMbrella involves a consortium of 16 appropriately skilled university based academic research institutions from 12 European member states. The project will be delivered in separate work packages corresponding to the specific aims. CAMbrella aims to facilitate sustainable, high quality research collaboration, and will create a coordinated EU network of researchers and stakeholders including patients, funding bodies and registered clinicians. The research and healthcare-focused core of the collaboration will have a substantial impact on how CAM is perceived and provided in the EU’s various healthcare systems. Based on the available information, a strategic roadmap for future European research activities will be developed to fill the existing knowledge gaps and produce an appropriate evidence base.