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The Integrator Blog. News, Reports and Networking for the Business, Education, Policy and Practice of Integrative Medicine, CAM and Integrated Health Care. - Research Updates: IN-CAM Outcomes Tools, Next CAHCIM Conference, MTF/AANP Awards, plus SAR
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Research Updates: IN-CAM Outcomes Tools, Next CAHCIM Conference, MTF/AANP Awards, plus SAR PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Research Initiatives Update: IN-CAM Outcomes Tools, Next CAHCIM Conference, MTF & AANP Promote Research by Practitioners, Acupuncture Research 10 Years After ...

Summary:   Happily, IN-CAM, the Canadian research network, has taken on the important work of developing a data base on outcomes tools that fit with complementary, integrative and whole person approaches  .. CAHCIM announces the dates and place for its second major research conference .. The Massage Therapy Foundation and AANP offer awards to stimulate research by practitioners ... 10 years after the NIH Consensus Conference on Acupuncture, the Society for Acupuncture Research will reflect on advances, direction ...

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1.    Canadian Group IN-CAM Gathers Outcomes Instruments for Whole Systems Research

Image The Canadian Interdisciplinary Network for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research (IN-CAM) described in its recent Bulletin (February 2007) an initiative to gather outcomes measures that may be optimal for CAM research. The article by whole systems research leader Marja Verhoef, PhD (whose work was noted here in the Integrator) is entitled: 'Focus: What Outcome Measures Do We Need in CAM Research? Development of the Canadian In-CAM Outcomes Data Base." Verhoef describes the goal of the data base:
"Researchers evaluating the outcomes of CAM interventions must use psychometrically sound, relevant outcome measures. Given the complexity of CAM interventions, in particular CAM whole systems, it is likely that for different interventions, different outcome measures are needed, and that some studies may need more than one outcome measure to assess the potential changes that could take place. However, locating reliable, comprehensive information on a wide range of outcome measures can be tedious and time consuming. "
Whole systems researcher Marja Verhoef, PhD
Using a survey in which 164 members participated, the team began to identify the outcome domains for which instruments are needed. The group is developing a website and is working to "populate it" with the instruments. No time frame for availability was provided. Verhoef writes that one goal is also to "
encourage researchers to develop outcome measures in domains for which, thus far, no outcome instruments are available. This is an exceptionally useful project. I wrote to Verhoef congratulating her but also noting my deep concern that there were no economic outcomes noted. The project has had support from the John and Lotte Hecht Foundation.

Comment: I'm thinking that the reason it is in Canada and not the United States that this project - which respects both health systems and an outcomes orientation -  has been embraced is linked to Canada's outcomes-oriented, governmental healthcare system. Got an opinion?

2.    Conventional Academic Consortium Announces 2nd Conference

Hold these dates: The Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine (CAHCIM) has announced that it will hold its second major, international conference in May 13-15 2009 at the Hilton in Minneapolis. The first such conference, the North American Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine, held in May 2006, drew an excited, multi-disciplinary gathering of over 600. Before the meeting was even over, philanthropists Bill and Penny George told the CAHCIM leaders that they wanted to back a second meeting in their Minneapolis home-base.

Image The planning team, led this next round by Adi Haramati, PhD, of Georgetown University, made efforts in the first round to include researchers from other professions. The organizers were successful, with strong contingents on hand of both presenters and attendees representing chiropractic, massage, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, naturopathic medicine and Yoga therapy. The conference in 2006 helped shape numerous ongoing discussions, including an international dialogue on whole systems research.

Put the dates on your calendar, even if you only have a peripheral relationship to research. Ben Kligler, MD, MPH and I had a chance to present some research from the National Education Dialogue at the 2006 meeting. Here's a guarantee that you will be intrigued by the content, dialogue and the relationship opportunities. There's nothing else like this out there.

3.    Massage and Naturopathic Organizations Promotes In-Office Research

ImageThe Massage Therapy Foundation  recently announced that it has a Practitioner Case Report Contest for massage therapists and body-workers. The goal of the context is to develop research skills among practitioner and "enhance their ability to provide knowledge-based massage to the public." The rules and guidelines are available here.

Meantime, the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
will this year once again honor that profession's best in-office research completed by one of its members. A cash award is made available via the support of supplement company Vital Nutrients, a firm led by Rick Liva, RPH, ND, whose columns in Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, Imageregularly explore product quality challenges. (I have some bragging rights regarding the AANP award. I had a hand in kicking-off the AANP's in-office research agenda and fund-raised the cash for the first AANP award in 1991 while working with a team which included Tori Hudson, ND, Carlo Calabrese, ND, MPH, Mark Percival, DC, ND and others on a national conference which focused on reports of in-office outcomes.

4.    10 Years After: Society for Acupuncture Research Conference

Meantime, submissions just closed for the November 8-11, 2007 conference of the Society for Acupuncture Research. The fall meeting is taking the 10th anniversary of the NIH Consensus Development Conference on Acupuncture to look at
"The Status and Future of Acupuncture Research." Their site links to a review article based on presentation at the May 2006 North American Research Conference - noted above - and published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine entitled Controversies in acupuncture research: selection of controls and outcomes measures in acupuncture clinical trials.  (Langevin HM, et al).

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