Note: This a translated version of "Om NIFAB"
NIFAB’s mission is to provide the Norwegian population with evidence-based information about CAM (complementary and alternative medicine).
In April 1997, Norway’s Directorate for Health and Social Affairs appointed a committee to conduct a study of the various aspects of CAM. The committee was named the “Aarbakke Committee” after Professor Jarle Aarbakke, who chaired the committee.
The decision to appoint the committee was based on the fact that the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Affairs, in its consideration of the National Health Plan for Norway, had pointed out that CAM had begun to gain wide acceptance among the Norwegian population and that many people believed that they had benefited from CAM.
The committee pointed out that there was a need to review the position that CAM should have within the public health service. For further reading on this (in Norwegian), click here.
The work of the committee was submitted as a Norwegian Official Report (NOU 1998:21). One of the committee’s many recommendations was to establish a national information bank in which knowledge about CAM could be gathered.
At the end of 2003, the National Research Centre in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NAFKAM) was charged with drawing up a proposal for the establishment of an information bank on behalf of the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services. The work of establishing NIFAB started in 2005, and in May 2007, information from NIFAB was made available to the general public.
NIFAB is an organizational unit at NAFKAM, which is a center at the University of Tromsø and funded by the Norwegian Directorate of Health.
NIFAB’s role and responsibilities
NIFAB shall neither hinder nor promote the use of CAM. NIFAB is tasked with creating greater clarity in a complex field.
On the website, consumers will find quality assured, evidence-based facts about CAM therapies and products: systematically produced information about what the research says about CAM modalities' efficacy and safety, if any.
In addition, you will find information about:
• How various CAM treatment methods work in practice.
• The history behind the methods.
• The theories or assumptions about diseases and health on which the various treatments are based.
NIFAB will also provide other information to enable people who are considering using CAM to make well-considered choices in relation to their own health. This includes information about:
• Relevant legislation
• Patients’ rights
• Advice on how to evaluate information and sources
• Advice about the questions that should be asked of and requirements that should apply to the CAM therapist, if a person decides to use CAM.
• Research and research methods
NIFAB also publishes separate articles on relevant topics related to the field. These may include topics being discussed in the media or other topics that may be of interest to people who want to keep updated about the field.
What NIFAB does not
• NIFAB shall neither inhibit nor promote the use of CAM methods.
• NIFAB wields no influence or control over CAM practitioners, and cannot therefore be held responsible for any irresponsible practice on the part of practitioners.
For more information about patients’ rights (in Norwegian), click here.
• NIFAB does not give health advice nor recommendations on any form of treatment, practitioners and/or treatment centres.
If you have experienced an exceptional course of disease after using CAM, you can do this directly to NAFKAM's Registry of Exceptional Courses of Disease (RESF). The Registry is an archive for collecting research data for future research.
National Information Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Norway (NIFAB)
NAFKAM, Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Tromsø
9037 Tromsø, Norway