Scientific plausibility permeates discussions and debates about research on complementary, alternative, or integrative health approaches. This is no surprise; many interventions that fall under this rubric are ensconced in belief systems about illness and health—some ancient and some modern—that lack foundations in modern science. In addition, those who support research on these approaches often fail to articulate a scientifically grounded rationale or approach to research.
Past Blog Posts
NCCAM, like all NIH Institutes and Centers, receives investigator-initiated applications for research funding that are based on ideas formulated by the applicant. As you might imagine, the research grant applications for complementary approaches cover quite a diverse and broad field.
The July 16 issue of the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA) published an editorial addressing the debate as to whether complementary medicine courses should be taught in Australian universities. In many ways, the debate in Australia parallels debates here in the United States, and indeed debates on this blog.
We frequently hear news about the returning military troops and the health issues that they face following service in Iraq and Afghanistan. A large number of veterans experience pain on a regular basis and post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury, depression, and substance use tend to co-occur. Many nonmilitary people in the United States also struggle with these issues and there is an urgent need for research to identify strategies that are helpful, as well as identify strategies that may be in use that do not help with these problems.
Catherine Bushnell, Ph.D., an internationally recognized pain and neuroscience researcher, has been appointed scientific director of a new research program focusing on the role of the brain in perceiving, modifying, and managing pain. In this video, she discusses the new collaborative pain research effort at NIH.