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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

P04.60. The dutch complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) protocol: to ensure the safe and effective use of CAM within Dutch mental health care

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BMC Complementary and Alternative MedicineThe official journal of the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research (ISCMR)201212 (Suppl 1) :P330

  • Published:


  • Mental Health Care
  • Western Medicine
  • Potential Health Risk
  • Heated Debate
  • Working Method


Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is subject to heated debates and prejudices. Studies show that CAM is widely used by psychiatric patients, usually without the guidance of a therapist and without the use of a solid working method, leading to potential health risks. How can we use CAM alongside conventional psychiatry in an outpatient psychiatric clinic in a judicious and professional way?


By searching through scientific and legal articles and discussion in focus groups a scientific model was formulated based on (1) patients’ needs and wishes; (2) respect for their freedom of choice; (3) a mix of western medicine and CAM that are safe and effective; (4) protection against quackery and abuse; (5) Dutch law, the jurisprudence of the Medical Disciplinary Tribunal and the rules of the Dutch Association of Medical Practitioners (KNMG) and (6) scientific evidence.


In the Centre for Integrative Psychiatry (CIP) of Lentis in the Netherlands some carefully selected CAM are offered under strict conditions, alongside conventional treatments. Because of the controversy and the potential health risks, Lentis designed a protocol which is presented. A clinical vignette is used to illustrate how this applies to daily practise.


The Dutch CAM protocol provides a working method for the judicious use of CAM alongside conventional psychiatry in an outpatient psychiatric clinic.

Authors’ Affiliations

Center for Integrative Psychiatry, Lentis, Groningen, Netherlands
Het Behouden Huys, Groningen, Netherlands
University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands


© Hoenders et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.