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Teaching Evidence Based Integrative Medicine

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The 3rd Annual CCNM Research Day Student Research & Innovation in Naturopathic Medicine

The following are abstracts from the research competition at the 3rd annual CCNM Research Day hosted by the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, ON, Canada. The conference celebrates high quality student-faculty research collaborations, showcased as poster presentations.

The Bell Tolls for Homeopathy: Time for Change in the Training and Practice of North American Naturopathic Physicians

North American naturopathic medicine is a distinct form of practice that is woven into the larger fabric of integrative medicine; in a number of US states and Canadian provinces, naturopathic doctors enjoy a wide scope of practice, including the ability to make diagnoses, order tests, use medical technology, write prescription drugs, and perform minor surgeries. However, the basic premise of naturopathic medicine and its guiding principles—considering the whole person and supporting healthy lifestyle behaviors—is the unifying approach in clinical practice.

Teaching evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: 2. A conceptual approach to causation-part 2.

As noted in Part 1, of this two-part paper, one of the most common questions that arise in clinical practice is whether a causal relationship exists between two factors. In order to answer this question we noted in Part 1 that three steps need to be taken: First an association needs to be demonstrated between treatment/exposure and effect. Next, the possibility of this association being the result of error needs to be determined. Finally, additional evidence to support a cause-and-effect relationship needs to be identified.

Teaching evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: 5. Interpreting the results of a study on therapy and applying them to a patient.

Practicing evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) requires that practitioners develop an ability to understand and appropriately apply the results of published studies addressing questions related to their clinical practice. This paper describes a process by which CAM practitioners can interpret the results of studies evaluating therapeutic interventions and then determine if they can apply these results to their patients.

Teaching evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: 4. Appraising the evidence for papers on therapy.

Practicing evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) requires practitioners to develop an ability to appraise the quality of published studies addressing questions related to their clinical practice. This paper describes a process by which CAM practitioners can determine the validity of studies evaluating therapeutic interventions. The process requires asking two broad questions: (1). Do the treatment and control group begin with the same prognosis? and (2). Do the treatment and control group remain the same with respect to important prognostic factors?

Teaching evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: 3. Asking the questions and identifying the information.

Practicing evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine (EBCAM) requires skills in accessing current valid literature on clinical queries. This requires searching a variety of sources within a broad scope of scientific disciplines. This daunting task requires effective skills for accessing information from both print and electronic sources. This paper identifies the progression from question formulation through to searching and acquiring the valid information.

Teaching evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine: 1. A learning structure for clinical decision changes.

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) education is at a crossroads and has been an area of increasing debate. Public use of CAM has risen dramatically since 1997, with initial reports ranging from 30% to a possible 60% in the United States. Much attention has been directed to the education of the public regarding CAM, with respect to efficacy, potential harm, and integration. Far less attention has been paid to the education of CAM practitioners.

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