Friday, June 24, 2011

Evidence-based HBOT Is Not CAM

In our May 16 post we gently admonished integrative medicine guru Andrew Weil, MD, for misstating the clinical evidence on HBOT for stroke. Our criticism pales by comparison to Orac's on the Respectful Insolence blog. In "Dr. Andrew Weil versus evidence-based medicine" the pseudonymous Orac writes:

... no physician that I can think of has over the course of his lifetime done more to promote the rise of quackademic medicine than Dr. Weil. The only forces greater than Dr. Weil in promoting the infiltration of pseudoscience into academic medicine have been the Bravewell Collaborative and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

The swipe at NCCAM seems harsh to us. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has just launched its NCCAM online portal. We're only too happy there's a new home for evidence-based CAM on the web. Visitors should be impressed by the website's complete and helpful information. They should also be enlightened or frightened by the scarcity of high-quality, supporting clinical evidence on natural products, mind-body medicine, manipulative and body-based practices, and other CAM practices. Just hosting this community will challenge CAM proponents to deliver the goods if they can.

Nowhere on NCCAM's list of Health Topics A-Z will you find hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Evidence-based HBOT is neither complementary nor alternative medicine. It's not integrative, holistic, natural, traditional, new age, or unconventional. Let's keep it that way.

O2.0 is the news blog of HyperbaricLink, the independent web guide to hyperbaric oxygen therapy.

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