Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) usage is prevalent in patients. While many CAM practices are considered safe (e.g. yoga), biologically-based CAM could interact with prescription medications and impact patients'outcomes. We will focus on a type of biologically-based CAM, herbal products, in this study. Despite the safety concerns, the lack of patient-clinician communication regarding CAM makes it difficult to assess and mitigate the risk of herb-drug-disease interactions. In addition, many providers and consumers lack knowledge of herbal medicine. We propose an informatics solution to improve CAM communication, and alert physicians and patients of potential safety issues. Over time, the improved documentation could also provide data for research on the efficacy and safety of biologically-based CAM. In this project, we will focus on patients with cardiovascular diseases.
The specific aims are: 1. Develop a computer interview application to collect CAM data directly from patients;2. Develop an alert system to detect herb-drug-disease interactions and alert both physicians and patients;3. Evaluate if the CAM data collection and alert system can help patients and physicians identify potentially harmful products being taken, increase patient-physician communication about CAM, and trigger actions to prevent herb-drug-disease interactions.

Public Health Relevance

While the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is wide spread the patient-physician communication and physician documentation on the subject is seriously lacking, which makes it difficult to mitigate the risk of herb-drug-disease interactions. In addition, both providers and consumers lack knowledge of herbal medicine. We propose develop and evaluate a CAM usage capture and interaction alert system to address the issue.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Biomedical Computing and Health Informatics Study Section (BCHI)
Program Officer
Hopp, Craig
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Utah
Schools of Medicine
Salt Lake City
United States
Zip Code
Christensen, Carrie M; Morris, Rebecca S; Kapsandoy, Seraphine Chepkemoi et al. (2017) Patient needs and preferences for herb-drug-disease interaction alerts: a structured interview study. BMC Complement Altern Med 17:272
Perri-Moore, Seneca; Kapsandoy, Seraphine; Doyon, Katherine et al. (2016) Automated alerts and reminders targeting patients: A review of the literature. Patient Educ Couns 99:953-9
Stoddard, Gregory J; Archer, Melissa; Shane-McWhorter, Laura et al. (2015) Ginkgo and Warfarin Interaction in a Large Veterans Administration Population. AMIA Annu Symp Proc 2015:1174-83
Gundlapalli, Adi V; Redd, Doug; Gibson, Bryan Smith et al. (2015) Maximizing clinical cohort size using free text queries. Comput Biol Med 60:1-7
Redd, Doug; Kuang, Jinqiu; Zeng-Treitler, Qing (2014) Differences in nationwide cohorts of acupuncture users identified using structured and free text medical records. AMIA Annu Symp Proc 2014:1002-9
Archer, Melissa; Proulx, Joshua; Shane-McWhorter, Laura et al. (2014) Development of an Alert System to Detect Drug Interactions with Herbal Supplements using Medical Record Data. AMIA Annu Symp Proc 2014:249-55
Scarton, Lou Ann; Del Fiol, Guilherme; Treitler-Zeng, Qing (2013) Completeness, accuracy, and presentation of information on interactions between prescription drugs and alternative medicines: an internet review. Stud Health Technol Inform 192:841-5