Developing Patient Centered Measures for Outcomes of CAM Therapies [NCCAM]

Cheryl Ritenbaugh, PhD, MPH
Within complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), many therapies or medicines target the whole person, with focus on vital force, qi, prana, or similar concepts.  However, outcomes appropriate to the understanding of the CAM systems, evaluating changes at the level of the whole person (e.g. energy, well-being.) are often lacking.  Further, there is evidence that some individuals receiving CAM therapies, especially those therapies that might be considered to have an energetic or spiritual component (e.g. homeopathy, energy or spiritual healing, acupuncture), report what can be called transformative experiences (see W.R.Miller and others) for which there are no valid measurement instruments. This project will identify important whole person outcomes associated with CAM therapies to propose for consistent evaluation in CAM research, and develop and validatie a measurement instrument for those dimensions without available items, such as transformative change.