The International Collaboration on Complementary Therapy Resources (ICCR): working together to improve online CAM information

Karen Pilkington, Are Gamst, Irene Liu, Thomas Ostermann, Dimity Pinto, Janet Richardon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Use of the Internet to find health information is increasing dramatically but the quality of information, particularly on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is variable. The International Collaboration on Complementary Therapy Resources (ICCR) involves collaboration between the national CAM information centers in Australia, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and a CAM information service in Germany.

Objectives: The study objectives were to compare the services and areas of expertise offered by each of the national CAM information services, to explore common challenges encountered in practice, and to establish specific objectives for the collaboration.

Design: The workshop incorporated set templates for presentations, brainstorming, and analysis of notes to identify common themes.

Results: Differences and similarities between the various services were revealed. Common challenges were identified under the main themes of overall context, users and needs, content and processes. Based on these themes, it was possible to agree on a number of specific objectives.

Conclusions: The member organizations of the ICCR serve a range of different audiences and have varied remits to fulfill. For the international collaboration to be effective, it was necessary to identify common challenges and to agree on specific objectives and potential ways of working together. Progress to date is also discussed together with plans for the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-653
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number7
Early online date13 Jun 2011
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


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