Programs in Science:
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Despite their widespread use, relatively little scientific research has
been done to determine the efficacy, safety, and cost effectiveness of
alternative therapies. The Fetzer Institute supports the application of
rigorous scientific approaches to understanding and evaluating these therapies
and to effectively and safely integrate them into the current health care
system when appropriate.
Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research
Centers: Clinical trials are currently under way to
investigate the effectiveness of chiropractic, acupuncture,
and therapeutic massage in the treatment of low back pain.
Outcomes research is also being performed with Oxford Health
Plan of New York to assess patterns of complementary
medicine use in large managed care settings. These
Institute-supported studies are being conducted through the
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for Alternative
Medicine Research at Harvard Medical School under the
leadership of David Eisenberg, M.D.
are also under way to assist health professionals in
effectively integrating complementary therapies through
continuing medical education courses, survey research on
prevalence of use, a review of adverse effects and liability
issues, and a program for producing standardized
credentialing and scope of practice guidelines.
Institute-supported research centers include:
Stanford Complementary and Alternative Medicine Clinic at
the Stanford University School of Medicine
- The Division of Complementary
Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (www.compmed.ummc.ab.umd.edu)
Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Center for Complementary
& Alternative Medicine at the College of Physicians
& Surgeons of Columbia University (www.columbia.edu)