The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Obtaining a patient’s spiritual history

    In an earlier post I quoted from an article by Dr. Christina Puchalski on the physician’s role in providing spiritual care. Here, Dr. Puchalski outlines the essential components of taking a spiritual history using the acronym, F. I. C. A.

    Considering the prevalence of prayer as a form of CAM, this acronym should be useful to healthcare providers. It also provides a guide to patients on what is appropriate information to provide during a doctor visit.

    F. Faith and belief

    • Ask: Are there spiritual beliefs that help you cope with stress or difficult times? What gives your life meaning?

    I. Importance and influence

    • Ask: Is spirituality important in your life? What influence does it have on how you take care of yourself? Are there any particular decisions regarding your health that might be affected by these beliefs?

    C. Community

    • Ask: Are you part of a spiritual or religious community?

    A. Address/action

    • Think about what you as the health care provider needs to do with the information the patient shared (eg, refer to a chaplain, meditation or yoga classes, or another spiritual resource).

    Speaking with the hospital chaplain will provide insight to available resources.

      7/11/06 00:51 JR

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