Complementary medicine, intermediate medicine and the degree of intervention Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Prostatic Neoplasms
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Current definitions of complementary medicine are based on comparisons with orthodox medicine. Such definitions become problematic with increasing use of complementary therapies and principles within orthodox practice. Therapies now described as complementary need to be located within a new model of medicine which focuses on the degree of intervention. This is conceptualised in terms of the putative effects of an intervention on a healthy individual. Basic self-care may be described as low intervention medicine, with drug therapy and surgery as high intervention medicine. Complementary therapies, as well as certain orthodox practices such as nutrition and physiotherapy, are classed as intermediate medicine. The Degree of Intervention Model is more accurate, more historically and geographically stable and less divisive than the traditional complementary/conventional model. © 1994.

publication date

  • January 1994



  • Academic Article


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0965-2299(94)90108-2

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 123

end page

  • 127


  • 2


  • 3