Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Health care practices that are not part of the traditional Western health care system—from acupuncture, yoga, and Tai Chi to vitamin supplements and medical marijuana—are typically labeled complementary or alternative medicines by the mainstream. RAND conducts evidence-based research on alternative approaches to illness prevention and treatment as well as studies aimed at understanding the place of complementary and alternative medicines within the health care system.

  • Medical professional and students looking at a model of a human spine, photo by SDI Productions/Getty Images

    Announcement

    RAND Establishes Center to Advance Complementary and Integrative Health Research

    RAND has launched the Center for Collaborative Research in Complementary and Integrative Health, a first-of-its-kind effort intended to bolster research expertise and participation at colleges that train practitioners in complementary and integrative health.

    Feb 12, 2020

  • Patient receiving chiropractic treatment

    Multimedia

    Integrative Health: Moving from Marginal to Mainstream

    In this Events @ RAND podcast, some of the nation's leading integrative health experts discuss the path forward for incorporating evidence-based complementary and alternative treatments into standard patient care, medical training, and policymaking.

    Sep 20, 2018

  • News Release

    News Release

    More Than 80% of Military Health Facilities Now Offer Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments

    More than 80 percent of military health care facilities offer some form of complementary and alternative medicine—in addition to conventional medicine— mainly for pain management and psychological disorders.

    Aug 9, 2017

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: May-June 2016

    This issue highlights integrative medicine and the future of health care; the RAND American Life Panel; a commentary on how to expedite the process of resolving open cases at Guantánamo Bay; women soldiers on the special ops battlefield; and more.

    May 2, 2016

  • Acupuncture needles pictured between the feet of an acupuncture model

    Essay

    Science and the Healing Arts

    Americans spend billions of dollars out of pocket seeking relief from chronic conditions in alternative schools of health, such as acupuncture or chiropractic. What would it take to more fully integrate such practices into the mainstream?

    Apr 29, 2016

  • Report

    Report

    Acupuncture for Major Depressive Disorder: A Systematic Review

    RAND researchers conducted a systematic review that synthesized evidence from trials of acupuncture to assess its efficacy and safety in treating major depressive disorder.

    Oct 7, 2015

  • Report

    Report

    Meditation for Major Depressive Disorder: A Systematic Review

    RAND researchers conducted a systematic review that synthesized evidence from trials of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy to assess its efficacy and safety in treating major depressive disorder.

    Oct 7, 2015

  • Report

    Report

    Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Major Depressive Disorder: A Systematic Review

    RAND researchers conducted a systematic review that synthesized evidence from trials of omega-3 fatty acids to provide estimates of their efficacy and safety in treating major depressive disorder.

    Oct 6, 2015

  • Labels with prices are placed next to marijuana for sale at the grand opening of The Cannabis Corner, the first city-owned recreational marijuana store in the country, in North Bonneville, Washington March 7, 2015

    Commentary

    Unprecedented Changes in Marijuana Policy

    The marijuana policy landscape changed dramatically in 2014. Legal sales for nonmedical purposes began in Colorado and in Washington state. Voters in Washington, D.C., Alaska, and Oregon passed initiatives to liberalize their marijuana laws. Uruguay also started implementing its marijuana legalization law.

    Apr 30, 2015

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast

    Multimedia

    Integrative Health Care and Medicine

    On July 18, 2012, Ian Coulter, who holds the Samueli Institute Chair in Policy for Integrative Medicine at RAND, was joined by fellow experts in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to discuss patient use of CAM and how hospitals, universities, and the U.S. military are integrating CAM into traditional medical practices throughout the United States.

    Jul 18, 2012

  • News Release

    News Release

    Endowment Created to Study Alternative, Complementary and Integrative Medicine

    The RAND Corporation and the Samueli Institute have created an endowment to support independent policy research on complementary, alternative and integrative medicine

    Feb 7, 2008

  • News Release

    News Release

    RAND Study Finds No Link Between Consuming Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Lower Incidence of Cancer

    RAND news release: RAND Study Finds No Link Between Consuming Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Lower Incidence of Cancer

    Jan 24, 2006

  • Content

    Content

    Ian D. Coulter

    Senior Health Policy Researcher
    Education Ph.D. in sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science; M.A. in sociology, University of Canterbury; B.A. in sociology, University of Canterbury; Diploma in educational mangement, Harvard; Certificate in heath policy, RAND/UCLA

  • Content

    Content

    Patricia M. Herman

    Senior Behavioral and Social Scientist
    Education Ph.D. in psychology and research methods, University of Arizona; N.D. in naturopathic medicine, Bastyr University; M.S. in agricultural economics, Iowa State University

  • Content

    Content

    Paul G. Shekelle

    Physican Policy Researcher
    Education Ph.D., UCLA School of Public Health; M.D., Duke University; M.P.H., University of California, Los Angeles; B.S. in chemistry and biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Content

    Content

    Gery W. Ryan

    Senior Behavioral Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
    Education Ph.D. and M.A. in cultural anthropology, University of Florida

  • Content

    Content

    Lea Xenakis

    Policy Analyst; San Francisco Bay Area Office Manager
    Education M.P.A. in health policy analysis, New York University, Wagner School of Public Service