This application is submitted in response to PAR-08-095, the CAM Practitioner Research Education Project Grant Partnership Competitive Renewal (R25). This project is conducted at Northwestern Health Sciences University (Northwestern Health Sciences University), home to chiropractic, massage therapy, and acupuncture/Oriental medicine educational programs. A leader in CAM research, Northwestern Health Sciences University will continue its successful collaboration with the University of Minnesota to design and deliver an innovative and sustainable educational plan. The broad, long-term objective of this project is to promote NCCAM's mission of facilitating the application of evidence informed practice (EIP) by CAM practitioners, and training CAM research scientists. For the purposes of this project, EIP is defined as the integration of patient presentation and preferences, clinical experience, and research in health care delivery. The progress made to date demonstrates the investigators'ability to successfully lead, administer, and evaluate a comprehensive research education program. Importantly, there has been tremendous institutional support which encourages long-term sustainability beyond the funding period. Outcomes include novel online learning technologies;new required EIP coursework for students;a multi-level EIP faculty development program;an innovative fellowship to train EIP teachers and CAM researchers;and a robust evaluation program demonstrating consistent and positive changes in EIP skills and behaviors. The following specific aims will expand upon the progress made thus far by:
Aim 1 : Further establishing an EIP-focused faculty development program to enhance faculty's ability to use research information and participate in research.
Aim 2 : Expanding the EIP-focused student curricula to enhance students'training and practical application of EIP skills and stimulate their interest in research.
Aim 3 : Building an EIP-focused post-graduate program for CAM practitioners to facilitate the efficient use of research in clinical practice and inspire participation in CAM research.
Aim 4 : Creating innovative and relevant EIP resources for dissemination to CAM students, faculty, and practitioners. This ambitious research education program is significant in its potential to transform CAM practice, culture, and research, through successful partnering of CAM and conventional educational institutions.

Public Health Relevance

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is commonly used in the United States. Consequently, how CAM providers are trained is important to the public's health. This project is training CAM providers to integrate scientific research with patient preferences and clinical expertise, while increasing the emphasis of rigorous research within the CAM professions.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Education Projects (R25)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAT1-PK (16))
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Rivera-Rentas, Alberto L
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Northwestern Health Sciences University
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United States
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Long, Cynthia R; Ackerman, Deborah L; Hammerschlag, Richard et al. (2014) Faculty development initiatives to advance research literacy and evidence-based practice at CAM academic institutions. J Altern Complement Med 20:563-70
Evans, Roni; Maiers, Michele; Delagran, Louise et al. (2012) Evidence informed practice as the catalyst for culture change in CAM. Explore (NY) 8:68-72