In this blog post, Dr. Emmeline Edwards discusses an NIH/NCCIH research initiative to advance the study of emotional well-being.
NCCIH Research Blog
Blog Posts Category
NCCIH blogs about research developments related to complementary health practices. Check in regularly to keep up with the latest findings.
In this blog post, NCCIH Director of Extramural Research Dr. Emmeline Edwards discusses NIH/NCCIH funding opportunities in music and art therapies.
This blog post highlights NCCIH’s desire to develop materials and partnerships to increase understanding by consumers of biomedical research and more informed, evidence-based decisions about their health.
In this blog post, Dr. Eve Reider discusses NCCIH initiatives that may help determine if and how complementary and integrative health approaches may contribute to disease prevention and health promotion across the lifespan.
In this blog post, Dr. Craig Hopp speaks to the necessity of using high-impact research approaches to uncover the biological signatures of complex natural products.
In this blog report, Dr. Wen Chen talks about NCCIH objectives for research on neurobiological effects and mechanisms.
In this blog post, Dr. Partap Khalsa talks about NCCIH’s priorities for pain research, such as managing chronic pain via non-drug means.
NCCIH Director Dr. Josephine Briggs announces and outlines the Center’s 2016 Strategic Plan.
NCCIH solicits opinions on its 2016-2021 draft Strategic Plan.
Two years ago, in February 2011, we released NCCAM’s Third Strategic Plan. The plan articulated our Center’s goals and objectives and presented a structure for determining priorities for future research. As we greet this anniversary, I’m pleased to report that we are successfully putting the plan into action.
This post addresses a couple of themes that are coming up with some regularity in comments posted to this blog. They include: 1) questions about what makes something “specifically complementary and alternative medicine (CAM),” or why other NIH Institutes or Centers (ICs) can’t do what NCCAM does, since the scientific methods and approaches are the same; and 2) a perspective that CAM borrows from other science-based fields “to lend false legitimacy to pre-scientific magical thinking.”
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.
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.
During the many years I have been with NCCAM, I have seen an exponential increase in both the quantity and quality of research investigating the efficacy and biological basis of many types of complementary health practices. For many reasons there has been less research on the real-world effectiveness of these therapies. However, promising analytic methods from other fields and emerging technologies such as electronic medical records can be used to take advantage of actual patient experiences so we can learn more about outcomes and effectiveness in real-world settings.