Collaborative research database to benefit complementary and alternative medicine



    TORONTO, March 31 /CNW/ - The McGill University Health Centre Research
Institute and the University of Calgary in collaboration with Centennial
College are launching the first-ever searchable database of outcome measures
intended for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) researchers - the
IN-CAM Outcomes Database. This innovative initiative promises to improve the
quality and the range of CAM research that will lead to more effective
treatments in the future.
    "The mainstream use of complementary and alternative medicine continues
to grow rapidly, however, more research needs to be done in this field," says
Trish Dryden, Director of Centennial's Applied Research Centre and a project
co-investigator. "Nobody has put research instruments in a database that is
responsive to CAM researchers' needs - until now."
    The project is funded by the Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation and
the Canadian Interdisciplinary Network for Complementary and Alternative
Medicine Research (IN-CAM).
    IN-CAM co-Directors Dr. Marja Verhoef and Dr. Heather Boon believe that a
coordinated, interdisciplinary and collaborative effort is needed to address
the many gaps that exist in CAM research, for example, the type of health
benefits people are seeking from CAM and how these needs vary depending on a
person's beliefs, culture and context. The IN-CAM Outcomes Database recognizes
a range of outcome measures which address different health domains.
    "This database provides CAM researchers with tools in an interactive
forum to improve their research questions and methodology," says
co-investigator Dr. Mark Ware, who is also Director of clinical research at
the Pain Clinic of the McGill University Health Centre. "We hope that this
database will foster a community of CAM researchers and provide a forum for
information exchange." CAM researchers will be able to use the IN-CAM Outcomes
Database to rate and comment on outcome measures and to propose new measures
to be added.
    As one of the principal investigators, University of Calgary's
Dr. Verhoef will launch the database at the International Conference for
Complementary Medicine Research held in Australia from March 28 to 31.
John Weeks, an international opinion leader in integrative medicine, has
already listed the IN-CAM Outcomes Database as one of the 10 most significant
projects in integrative medicine in 2007-08.

    To view the IN-CAM Outcomes Database, go to www.outcomesdatabase.org.

    The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI MUHC)
is a world-renowned biomedical and health-care hospital research centre.
Located in Montreal, Quebec, the institute is the research arm of the MUHC,
the university health center affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at
McGill University. The institute supports over 600 researchers, nearly
1200 graduate and post-doctoral students and operates more than
300 laboratories devoted to a broad spectrum of fundamental and clinical
research. The Research Institute operates at the forefront of knowledge,
innovation and technology and is inextricably linked to the clinical programs
of the MUHC, ensuring that patients benefit directly from the latest
research-based knowledge. The Research Institute of the MUHC is supported in
part by the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec. For further details
visit: www.muhc.ca/research.

    The Centennial College Applied Research Centre (ARC) supports and
advances learning, innovation and solutions to transform lives and
communities. The centre's mission is to enhance continuous learning for all,
foster social transformation and innovation, increase employment and knowledge
transfer, and build partnerships. ARC works closely with industry, communities
and government stakeholders to support innovation and commercialization. It
provides essential direction and strategic planning for research, and
structures to support high quality research. ARC is an integral part of
Centennial College, Ontario's first publicly funded college of applied arts
and technology, established in Toronto in 1966. For more details visit:
www.centennialcollege.ca/arc.

    The University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine is a national leader in
health research with an international reputation for excellence and innovation
in health care research, education and delivery. Through its educational
programs, the Faculty of Medicine trains the physician and scientists who will
lead the next generation of health practitioners. Through its clinical work,
continuing medical education programs, and close relationship with the Calgary
Health Region, the Faculty of Medicine moves new treatments and diagnostic
techniques from the laboratory bench to the hospital bedside efficiently and
effectively, improving patient care.
    www.medicine.ucalgary.ca





For further information:

For further information: Isabelle Kling, Communications Coordinator
(research), MUHC Public Relations and Communications, (514) 934-1934, ext.
36419, isabelle.kling@muhc.mcgill.ca; Trish Dryden, Director, Applied Research
Centre, Centennial College, (416) 289-5000, ext. 8056,
tdryden@centennialcollege.ca; Dr. Marja Verhoef, Professor of Community Health
Sciences and Medicine, UCalgary Faculty of Medicine, mverhoef@ucalgary.ca


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