The field of toxicology adopted the threshold dose response in the early decades of the 20th century. The model was rapidly incorporated into governmental regulatory assessment procedures and became a central feature of chemical evaluation and assessment. The toxicological community never validated the capacity of this model to make accurate predictions throughout the remainder of the 20th century. A series of recent investigations have demonstrated that the threshold and linear dose response model failed to make accurate predictions in the low dose zone.
Patients with functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract often respond poorly to standard therapeutic regimes. Therefore, "alternative" forms of treatment (e.g. homocopathy, acupuncture, phytotherapy, diet modifications, psychotherapy, hypnosis) often come into play. Critical assessment of these forms of therapy is difficult: placebo response is high in functional disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and usually no placebo-controlled studies are available to prove the efficacy of these forms of therapy.
OBJECTIVES: To describe Victorian general practitioners' attitudes towards and use of a range of complementary therapies. DESIGN: A self-administered postal survey sent to a random sample of 800 general practitioners (GPs) in Victoria in July 1997. PARTICIPANTS: 488 GPs (response rate, 64%). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: GPs' knowledge; opinions about harmfulness and effectiveness; appropriateness for GPs to practise; perceived patient demand; need for undergraduate education; referral rates to complementary practitioners; and training in and practice of each therapy.
BACKGROUND: Complementary medicine has become an important aspect of palliative cancer care. This overview is primarily aimed at providing guidance to clinicians regarding some commonly used complementary therapies. METHODS: Several complementary therapies were identified as particularly relevant to palliative cancer care. Exemplary studies and, where available, systematic reviews are discussed. RESULTS: Promising results exist for some treatments, e.g. acupuncture, enzyme therapy, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, and relaxation techniques.
Unlike the biomedical model, holistic health care takes a much broader view of what constitutes health and the responsibility for helping restore an individual's health. Homoeopathy addresses the physical, mental and emotional aspects of the whole individual, while alternative practices such as yoga, hypnotherapy and meditation can be described as 'functional' spiritual practices which demonstrate the taking of personal responsibility for health care to the individual.
The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is widespread. Those with psychiatric disorders are more likely to use CAM than those with other diseases. There are both benefits and limitations to CAM. Many controlled studies have yielded promising results in the areas of chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
Postnatal depression is a serious and debilitating condition. Due to the perceived stigma of mental illness, the incidence of it is underreported and many mothers refuse psychiatric help either assuming postnatal depression to be normal or because of the potential consequences of having a psychiatric history. Community practitioners who are in contact with new mothers may welcome additional interventions which can enhance the supportive care they give to these women.
One primary reason patients go to emergency departments is for pain relief. Understanding the physiologic dynamics of pain, pharmacologic methods for treatment of pain, as well CAM therapies used in treatment of pain is important to all providers in emergency care. Asking patients about self-care and treatments used outside of the emergency department is an important part of the patient history. Complementary and alternative therapies are very popular for painful conditions despite the lack of strong research supporting some of their use.