Today we are releasing NCCIH’s fourth strategic plan, Exploring the Science of Complementary and Integrative Health. Our plan outlines the Center’s strategic direction in complementary and integrative health research. It identifies three core scientific objectives:
- Fundamental Science and Methods Development,
- Improving Care for Hard-to-Manage Symptoms,
- Fostering Health Promotion and Disease Prevention,
and two cross-cutting objectives:
- Enhancing the Complementary and Integrative Health Research Workforce,
- Disseminating Objective Evidence-Based Information on Complementary and Integrative Health Interventions.
We developed the plan after thoroughly assessing developments in science, medicine, and health care and requesting input from stakeholders during an 18-month long planning process.
In the new plan we also include a detailed assessment of opportunities and gaps in the Center’s current top priority areas. They are as follows:
- Nonpharmacologic management of pain,
- Neurobiological effects and mechanisms,
- Innovative approaches for establishing biological signatures of natural products,
- Disease prevention and health promotion across the lifespan,
- Clinical trials utilizing innovative study designs to assess complementary health approaches and their integration into health care,
- Communications strategies and tools to enhance scientific literacy and understanding of clinical research.
We anticipate this portion of the plan will be a living document. The existing topics will be updated and new priority areas will emerge as dictated by the science and public health needs. Over the next three weeks, we will be profiling each of the six research priorities areas on this blog. The priority areas outlined in the plan do not encompass all of NCCIH’s research interests; our Center will continue to rely on and support highly meritorious investigator-initiated grant applications covering an array of research highlighted in the broader strategic plan.