than 80 million Americans use alternative therapies such as acupuncture
and herbal remedies, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Yet the safety and effectiveness of many such therapies remain
insufficiently tested in large clinical trials that use strict
federal safety rules and human subjects.
recently awarded two grants totaling $4,185,420 to the School
of Nursing's Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative
Therapies. The grants are for five years each and will support
training for pre- and post-doctoral degree researchers in the
field of complementary and alternative medicine. (CAM)
who suffer from pain and chronic diseases could benefit greatly
by adding complementary and alternative practices that are safe
and effective to their current treatments. These awards will help
speed identification and evaluation of promising new CAM therapies,"
said center director Ann Gill Taylor, professor of nursing and
principal investigator for both grants. "My vision is for
U.Va. to become a flagship school for CAM training."
grant for almost $2.7 million will support a two-year Training
Program in Complementary and Alternative Medicine for pre- and
post-doctoral students in complementary therapies research. The
program is a joint effort of the center and the schools of Nursing,
Medicine and the Engineering School's Department of Biomedical
Engineering. Postdoctoral trainees will conduct research under
the guidance of senior researchers from the collaborating schools.
other award of approximately $1.5 million is for a Clinical Research
Curriculum Program in Complementary and Alternative Therapies
and will expand the existing training program. It will include
a new two-year track that prepares doctoral-level nurses, physicians
and other health-care providers to conduct clinical research to
study the effectiveness of new CAM-related technologies, mechanisms
of disease and CAM therapies. The program will use resources of
the U.Va. schools of Nursing and Medicine and the center to teach
participants the design of clinical research projects, hypothesis
development, biostatistics, epidemiology, clinical trial design
and legal, cultural, ethical and regulatory issues related to
program also will offer a course on therapies such as acupuncture,
chiropractic, therapeutic touch and other treatments that have
shown evidence of effectiveness in previous research studies.