Research Methodology

Choices, Logistics, and Challenges

Published In: Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, v. 2014, article ID 780520, Editorial, 2014, p. 1-5

Posted on on January 01, 2014

by Ian D. Coulter, George Lewith, Raheleh Khorsan, Ray Kirk, Brian Mittman

Read More

Access further information on this document at Hindawi Publishing Corporation

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

The field of complementary and alternative medicine and integrative health care (CAM/IHC) is contributing exciting new developments in this challenging field. CAM/IHC has experienced rapid growth in acceptance and use. Growth has also occurred in CAM internationally, and CAM services are now being provided by new and innovative approaches such as health information technologies. Each of these provides new and exciting possibilities for CAM/IHC but equally each also provides new challenges. The collection of articles in this volume explores in various ways several of these challenges from the perspective of CAM/IHC research. CONCLUSION: Sufficient evidence exists now to suggest that the complexity of the health encounter in both CAM/IHC and conventional medicine, whatever therapy is utilized, requires a nonreductionist methodology if we are to advance beyond efficacy studies to studies of real-world effectiveness.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.