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The latest demographic surveys on Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine commented by Italian scientific societies of the sector

Mariateresa Tassinari, Mauro Alivia, Luca Poma, Paolo Roberti di Sarsina


Background, aims and objectives: The debate on Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) is as topical as disorienting. The continued misunderstanding of the field where a comparison is performed, be it epistemological, ethical, ontological, logical, often creates chaos and uncertainty. In an effort to clarify and respect the principal protagonist of any treatment, that is the person as an unbreakable psychic, physical and spiritual unity, we felt an urgent need to consult the presidents of the Italian TCAM associations by asking them specific questions about what they perceived to be the current problems and prospects in this context.

Methods: All the major Italian TCAM scientific societies were invited to participate. Each society that responded to our invitation received the same questionnaire, composed of 5 questions. After 30 days the completed questionnaires were sent back to the electronic address of the Charity Association for Person Centered Medicine-Moral Entity. None of the scientific societies participating were aware of the answers given by the other colleague associations.

Results: In Italy the issue of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine is highly complex. Despite heterogeneous points of view, all of the Italian societies believed that accurate information, patient safety and high-quality training are basic requirements that must be guaranteed for the future of TCAM in Italy.

Conclusions: Even if ‘person-centered’ healthcare appears pleonastic, we must keep in mind that he/she who expresses the need to be cured is a person and thus to be considered in his/her physical, psychic and spiritual unity. A Cartesian reductionism is therefore no longer the appropriate paradigm the healthcare and paradigm shift has become urgently required.


ISTAT statistics, person-centered healthcare, person-centered medicine, roundup, Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine

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