Welcome to NCCAM’s new Research Blog. I am excited to have a new place for a dialogue about the complex and interesting issues surrounding the research that the Center is supporting.
We face some complex challenges. Like all of the NIH, our mission is to conduct the highest quality biomedical research to improve the health of the Nation. NCCAM’s special charge is to bring rigorous science to the broad array of health practices that have arisen from outside of mainstream medicine. This covers a lot of tough territory! Not surprisingly the conversation about complementary and alternative health practices has often become polarized, with competing views about what makes good sense. I hope to use this blog as a place for a conversation about these challenges.
NCCAM has a strong scientific staff who will also contribute perspectives and common sense insights into the research we are supporting and write about some of the interesting things our investigators are finding. A major focus for our research enterprise is advancing the science and practice of symptom management. In particular, we see opportunities for our research to have a real impact on the management of chronic pain, a topic I plan to discuss a great deal.
I am very proud of the robust and comprehensive information available on our Web site—including our strategic plan outlining our major areas of research focus; our library of health information for consumers, our research spotlights, our resources for the research community, our health care provider and safety portals, and more. We hope you will use these materials and give us your input to ensure they are providing the information the public needs for informed decision making.
We plan to blog at least every other week. We hope you will join us and add your comments to the topics at hand (please read our comment policy). Along with the blog posts, you can receive updates from NCCAM through our bi-weekly e-mail newsletter, RSS feeds, Facebook, and Twitter.
Our work presents some unique challenges as well as exciting opportunities, and we are looking forward to exploring these with you and reading your comments and feedback.