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Research Directions in Complementary and Integrative Medicine (CIM): Whole Systems/Practice

Information on clinical evidence models and new approaches for conducting CAM research.

Working Definition: Whole Systems Research:

"Whole systems research entails the intention to include conceptually as part of the investigative context all aspects of any internally consistent approach to treatment, including its philosophical basis, patients, practitioners, setting of practice, and methods/materials used. Whole systems research acknowledges unique patient, family, community, and environmental characteristics and perspectives. The aim is to use appropriate research designs so that the system can be assessed within its explanatory model."

Rittenbaugh, C., Verhoef, M., Fleishman, S., Boon, H., and Leis, A. (2003). Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine; 9/4: 33.

Poster Abstract: Whole Practice Naturopathic Medicine

Preliminary results of the first systematic review of whole practice naturopathic medicine, presented at the International Research Congress Integrative Medicine and Health (IRCIMH) conference, held in Portland, OR, in May, 2012.

Naturopathic Whole System Care (PhD Dissertation)

Louise, C. Systems principles and methodologies within a new research paradigm: assessing the effects of naturopathic medicine.

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Systems Science: Psychology. Portland State University, 2000.

"This dissertation explores the correspondence of systems principles with naturopathic philosophy and proposes that research into specific, general, and mind/body effects of naturopathic medicine must take these systems principles into account. .... To illustrate an alternative systems approach, a non-linear system dynamics model was created to illustrate the mind/body connection and the promotion of non-specific (mind/body) and general effects through naturopathic therapies. An empirical model examining the general effects of naturopathic medicine was developed. Parts of this model were tested and results indicated that patients who were seeking naturopathic care had significant improvement in outcome."

Available in the Bastyr University Library