Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Survey Shows Integrative Medicine Used to Treat Common and Costly Health Conditions
The University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine is among a prestigious group of national health centers featured in the Bravewell Collaborative’s new report "Integrative Medicine in America: How Integrative Medicine Is Being Practiced in Clinical Centers Across the United States," a study of patient populations and health conditions most commonly treated with integrative strategies. In the survey of U.S. integrative medicine centers, 75 percent reported success using integrative practices such as traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, meditation and supplements to treat chronic pain. More than 50 percent of the centers reported positive results using integrative therapies for gastrointestinal conditions, depression & anxiety, cancer and chronic stress.
“When I founded the Center for Integrative Medicine 20 years ago, most of my colleagues viewed my work as outside the mainstream of conventional medicine,” says Brian Berman, M.D., founder and director of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine. “Now, we find that doctors and patients are more receptive to these therapies, and it’s significant that the Bravewell study supports and documents the growth of integrative medicine. We see similar increasing interest here at the University of Maryland. For example, patients may receive different integrative medicine therapies at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and at the Greenebaum Cancer Center,” adds Dr. Berman, a professor in the Department of Family & Community medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Dr. Berman credits the center’s research - published in such journals as the Annals of Internal Medicine and the New England Journal of Medicine - and its designation as a National Institutes of Health Center of Excellence for Research as part of his colleagues’ changing attitudes toward integrative medicine. He also noted that the elective in integrative medicine taught by the center’s faculty continues to become more popular with medical students.
“The distinguished scientists and physicians at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, such as Dr. Berman and his team at the Center for Integrative Medicine, are committed to finding solutions for patients facing chronic illness. The University of Maryland’s inclusion in this prestigious Bravewell report reflects the thought leadership of our faculty in this rapidly growing area of medicine,” says E. Albert Reece, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., vice president for medical affairs, University of Maryland, and dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine.
Integrative medicine is a concept that addresses a range of physical, emotional, mental, social and environmental influences that affect a person’s health. Practitioners create a personalized strategy that considers each patient’s unique conditions, needs and circumstances, then apply the most appropriate treatments to help people regain and maintain optimal health. The interventions prescribed most frequently by practitioners in the Bravewell study, usually in combination, were: food/nutrition, supplements, yoga, meditation, traditional Chinese medicine/acupuncture, massage and pharmaceuticals.
“With chronic health issues costing the U.S. economy more than $1 trillion a year, it’s essential to find the most effective ways to treat and prevent the most prevalent conditions,” says Donald Abrams, M.D., co-author of the report and professor of clinical medicine at the University of California San Francisco. “This report demonstrates how an integrative approach is being used to improve patient outcomes.”
The Bravewell collaborative surveyed 29 integrative medicine centers, all affiliated with hospitals, health systems and/or medical and nursing schools (see list below).
To view "Integrative Medicine in America" online, visit www.bravewell.org. Formed in 2002, The Bravewell Collaborative is a foundation dedicated to using rigorous research and scientific approaches to educate the general public and physicians about optimal health and healing.
On April 14, 2012, the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine will host a Health and Wellness conference at the Baltimore Hilton featuring nationally known wellness expert Andrew Weil, M.D. The event is the culimination of a year-long celebration of the 20th anniversary of the founding of the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine. For more details on the conference, go to http://www.regonline.com/umsom-health-wellness-conference.
Participating "Integrative Medicine in America" Centers: