While there is no inherent risk of harm from complementary therapies provided by fully qualified practitioners, and therefore no need for statutory regulation, there is debate about the evidence that these therapies are effective.
CNHC registrants are required to engage in ‘Evidence Based Practice’. There are three elements to this:
> best available research evidence
> clinical expertise
> patient values
(Sackett D et al ‘Evidence Based Medicine: How to Practise and Teach EBM’, 2000).
There are many sources of research evidence and listed below are examples that are accessible to the public.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published guidelines that include recommendations about the use of complementary therapies for:
- Low back pain and sciatica
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Supportive and palliative care for adults with cancer
NICE Evidence Services are a suite of services that provide access to high quality authoritative evidence and best practice. Complementary therapies are included and can be searched for using helpful filters.
The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews has a wealth of evidence that can be searched for specific complementary therapies.
PubMed is a free search engine that provides access to a huge database of references and research abstracts, including those relevant to specific complementary therapies.
Individual research journals that provide open access to articles include: