In keeping with the principle of evidence-based medicine, the Center for Health and Healing will actively conduct rigorous research on the efficacy and safety of various complementary therapies, with a focus on examining their effectiveness in an integrative medical model. The research will emphasize the techniques and medical conditions that are of direct interest to the clinical practitioners in the Center, and they will actively participate in such research activities. In addition, whenever possible, research collaborations with other clinicians and researchers at Beth Israel Medical Center and the Continuum healthcare system will be actively sought out. Any promising therapy is considered to be a legitimate topic for research.
The Center intends to develop a major research presence in the field of integrative medicine. Studies will use rigorous research methodology, always aiming for the gold standard of clinical research: the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Funding will be sought from government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, as well as private sources, including professional associations and foundations. Individuals and organizations interested in supporting these endeavors can find information under the Ways of Giving section of the web site.
The following is a list of studies currently under way at the Center or in which the Center is collaborating: Acupuncture and Craniosacral Manipulation in the Treatment of Asthma;
Acupuncture as an Adjunctive Treatment in Stroke Rehabilitation;
Integrative Treatment Program for Chronic Depression.
Please click on each title for a description of the study.
Current Studies at the Center
|Acupuncture and Craniosacral Manipulation in the Treatment of Asthma|
The purpose of this study is to determine if combining two complementary and alternative (CAM) modalities, acupuncture and craniosacral massage, with conventional medications is more effective than using either CAM therapy alone with conventional approaches in the treatment of asthma. While most clinics combine two or more CAM treatments with conventional approaches, research has been done only on the effectiveness of one CAM modality used adjunctively with conventional medicine, Therefore we believe it is important to study the efficacy of this approach. The study will consist of 100 participants with Class II to Class IV asthma who have no other serious illness. All individuals will continue with their standard therapies in addition to the acupuncture and craniosacral therapies. Acupuncture points known to be effective for asthma will be selected by a licensed acupuncturist. A control group will receive no treatment during the study. They will be measured after receiving only their standard care at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months after entering the study. When the study is finished they will receive complimentary therapy: either acupuncture or craniosacral therapy or a combination of the two, basically whichever therapy appears to be most effective. Outcome measures will include improvement in respiratory symptoms, including number of asthma attacks, physical symptoms, psychological symptoms, medication usage, and medical care visits (doctors office, hospitalization, and emergency room). Measurements will include pulmonary function testing including forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume (FEV), forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1), forced expiratory flow between 25 percent and 75 percent (FEF25-75), and mesoexpiratory flow (MEF).
|Acupuncture as an Adjunctive Treatment in Stroke Rehabilitation|
The purpose of this study is to determine: 1) Whether acupuncture has a beneficial effect on activities of daily living, motor and cognitive functioning and quality of life in post-stroke survivors, above and beyond standard rehabilitation; 2) whether the length of time after stroke before acupuncture is begun affects the extent to which acupuncture is effective; and 3) whether electroacupuncture is more effective than non-electroacupuncture stimulation in the treatment of stroke. Ninety participants will be either sub-acute (approximately 10 days post-stroke) or relatively long term survivors (6+ months post-stroke). All individuals will continue to receive their standard therapies in addition to the acupuncture treatments. A set of acupuncture points will be needled in two variations, with and without electrical stimulation. A control group will receive standard rehabilitation only. Outcome measures will include cognitive and physical functioning, activities of daily life, and quality of life measures which will be administrated at baseline, shortly after completion of acupuncture treatment, and at 3 and 6 months follow-up.
|Integrative Treatment Program for Chronic Depression |
The Continuum Center for Health and Healing (CCHH) is conducting a research study on an integrative treatment program for chronic depression. Conventional treatments for depression may not be effective or appropriate for everyone. Suzanne Little, Ph.D., Director of CCHHs Mind/Body Program, is designing a group treatment to improve mood, self-esteem, physical vitality, and quality of life through spiritually-based psychotherapy; training in relaxation, visualization, and energy balancing; and nutritional therapy. Depression from a holistic perspective involves a systemic imbalance in neurobiological and psychosocial functioning that can be particularly responsive to multi-modal mind/body intervention.
Participation in Studies
In many cases, the Center will be actively seeking participants for its studies. A list of current studies seeking participants and information on how to apply to be part of the study appear below.
We are not recruiting for any studies at this time.