The Facts and the Future of CAM in the Military
Maintaining peak performance, reducing stress and recovering from trauma are essential for military personnel. More and more service members are turning to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and integrative medicine (IM) to meet their needs—often at higher rates than the civilian population.
“However, DoD policy and priorities have not kept up with this surge, leaving the majority of active duty service members, veterans and their families to fend for themselves, to pay for or go without the beneficial effects of CAM and IM practices,” says a new article I co-authored in this month’s issue of Medical Care, which explores the use of CAM[i] within the Department of Defense (DoD) for active duty military members, veterans, and their families.
“CAM in the United States Military: Too Little of a Good Thing?” provides a comprehensive look at the key issues involved including:
- How and why CAM usage is higher in a military population.
- What is the usage of CAM and attitudes of health care leaders in military treatment facilities?
- How do we align the needs of the patients with DoD practice and policy including TRICARE benefits?
Each year the availability of drug-free and self-care treatments all claiming to help individuals recover and return to wholeness increases. This presents a challenge for the DoD, who is responsible for integrating safe and effective treatments into the military health care system while also considering the costs involved.