Bridging research, clinical care, education, and policy

20 May 2016

The latest high quality research in complementary medicine was presented at the annual International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health, held May 17 - 20, in Las Vegas.

Running in its fifth year, and supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), the congress brought together international leaders in complementary and integrative medicine in areas of research, policy, education and clinical practice.

"Attracting well over 1,000 attendees across the research-clinical-education-policy spectrum, the four day conference is one of the most anticipated, attracting the world's leaders in complementary medicine," said NICM Director and regular attendee, Professor Alan Bensoussan.

NICM Adjunct, Associate Professor Lesley Braun and NICM Senior Research Fellow and GP, Dr Jennifer Hunter led a pre-congress workshop (clinical guidelines and policy focused), Introducing the Integrative Medicine Decision Toolkit.

Developed in response to the challenges facing decision makers when evaluating Traditional and Complementary Medicine (T&CM), Dr Hunter says the toolkit is practical and designed for use in the real world of healthcare.

"Guidelines and checklists are available for appraising evidence and developing clinical practice guidelines, but none exist that offer a systematic method for determining how best to use the available evidence to guide the integration of T&CM into health services, especially when there is insufficient evidence to make a strong recommendation," said Dr Hunter.

"The toolkit encourages a comprehensive, systematic assessment of all relevant evidence.

"It enables the direct comparison of otherwise diverse therapies, often with different types and quality of research supporting their use," she said.

Dr Hunter also participated as a panellist with three of her international peers from the Netherlands, Canada and Switzerland for the research session, "How is Integrative Healthcare Being Practiced in Clinical Centers: Mapping the Field on the Different Continents". Each panellist spoke about the practice and challenges of integrative medicine in their respective country.

NICM Research Fellow, Dr Sai Seto's latest research was also presented in the basic sciences poster session titled, Protective Effects of a Standardised Herbal Formulation, Sailuotong, on Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2)-induced Damage in EA.hy926 Cells.

The Congress is convened by the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health, in association with the International Society for Complementary Research, the Integrative Health Policy Consortium, the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health, and the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine.