Naturopathy Special Interest Group Research Capacity and Needs Assessment Survey

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Despite recent shifts in regulation and recognition of the role that naturopathy plays in health care delivery in Canada, comparatively little research has been conducted regarding individuals who conduct naturopathy-related research. A survey was undertaken to better understand the needs and capacity of these individuals to conduct more research.

Design, Setting, and Subjects

The Naturopathy Special Interest Group (N-SIG) of the Interdisciplinary Network of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (INCAM) Researchers created and distributed a survey of individuals interested in naturopathy-related research to assess gaps between current and desired research activity and needs for further participation.

Outcome measures

Results from a previous pilot study (2014; nā€‰=ā€‰58) were used to inform the design and distribution. This study received approval and oversight from the Research Ethics Board of the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.


The survey was completed by 201 individuals (āˆ¼5%ā€“10% of all naturopathic doctors and naturopathy researchers in Canada). The majority (70%) had no peer-reviewed publication experience; however, 63% reported having published in a non peer-reviewed medium. Respondents reported differing levels of confidence in completing various components of a research project. Frequently selected obstacles included lack of time due to professional and personal obligations, as well as insufficient training, funding, and mentorship. The greatest identified needs for participation in research were mentorship/support, access to a wider degree of scientific journals, and targeted funding opportunities for CAM research. Overall, the results of this survey suggest that there is interest in further conducting naturopathy-related research in Canada. There are individuals who are already involved and have expressed skills in the area of evidence-based medicine. Mentorship, research training, resources, and critical appraisal and writing skills may be important leverage points.


Findings from this investigation will be used to inform an agenda for naturopathy-related research and activities of the N-SIG with respect to enhancing research capacity. Other CAM groups or geographic regions could consider using similar methodology to assess capacity and needs for research participation.

Read the full study.

Title of abstract: 
Naturopathy Special Interest Group Research Capacity and Needs Assessment Survey
Monique Aucoin, Kieran Cooley, Christopher Knee, Teresa Tsui, and Diane Grondin
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Monique Aucoin, Kieran Cooley, Christopher Knee, Teresa Tsui, and Diane Grondin. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

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