DRAWING UPON THE WORLD’S EXPERIENCE
Over the centuries, vast experience has been gained all over the world from the use of traditional treatments. Some of these treatments will now be researched by the foundation so that the benefits can be enjoyed by people everywhere. This will lead to wider acceptance and greater use.
LIMITATIONS IN OUR EXISTING HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
Modern medicine has achieved outstanding results. However, there are increasing limitations and escalating costs. There are now real fears that the demands being placed upon conventional health services may generate burdens which could prove impossible to meet. There is also concern about the potential side effects of treatment. More could be achieved in our health care system, and often at a lower cost, if effective complementary therapies were integrated with existing practice.
Existing health care systems are experiencing growing difficulty in addressing 20th Century illnesses, many of which are due to the effects of modern society. This is where the integration of orthodox and complementary medicine can really help.
THE ROLE OF SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
The objectives of the Federation Of Integrated Medicine are to research complementary medical practices and their integration with orthodox medical treatments. Cost benefit analysis and the efficacy of treatments wilt be of prime importance. The research program will be the responsibility of the Research Committee comprised of eminent members of the professions with extensive experience in treatment and research. The outcome of research studies will be subject to independent analysis.
RESULTS SO FAR
The first pilot research study is nearing completion at a major London teaching hospital. The willingness of a unit there to collaborate in this research reflects the interest shown in integrated medicine by one of the most orthodox of establishments, with a world-wide reputation for leading medical research.
The first study is examining the use of neuromuscular massage techniques-Marma therapy derived from traditional Indian health care, for the rehabilitation of elderly patients who have had strokes. Early results from this study are promising and planning is underway for a further multi-centre, large scale, study.
We have come thus far with the aid of generous private donations. We are now in a position to make real progress in achieving the objectives set out in this document.
INITIAL RESEARCH PROGRAM
These are the first, fully-costed research projects planned by the Foundation.
REHABILITATION FOR STROKE PATIENTS
(Two clinical trials are being planned.)
#1 – LATE STROKE REHABILITATON
This trial will build upon the Foundation’s pilot study of Manna therapy, the ancient Indian neuromuscular massage technique. A multi-centre randomized controlled trial is being planned for 1995/6. This will assess the efficacy of Marma therapy in late stroke rehabilitation, which is rehabilitation of people who have had a stroke at least 6 months previously and who have gained the maximum recovery possible using NHS rehabilitation techniques.
The trial will require a research team that includes a research registrar, Marma therapist, physiotherapist, exercise therapist and an independent assessor of patient outcome. (Projected Cost -£360,000)
#2 – ACUTE STROKE REHABILITATON
There is considerable anecdotal evidence that acupuncture can have a significant effect on recovery from stroke in the acute phase (i.e., within the first 3 months after a stroke). A recently published clinical trial in Sweden provides further evidence of this, but the results require confirmation with larger; more sophisticated multi-centre randomized controlled trials. Both Manna therapy and acupuncture will be evaluated. (Projected Cost -£280,000)
NATIONAL AUDIT FOR HERBAL MEDICINE
There are around 300 herbal practitioners who are members of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH). Preliminary work has begun to establish a national network for clinical audit and research. A clinical information analyst is now required for 3 years, to design and implement a computerized database. This will be used by individual practitioners and local groups to audit their clinical practice. It will also be used by the NIMH as a means of monitoring nationally the use of herbs for particular conditions, for assessing outcomes of herbal medical practice, and for more detailed research projects. (Projectedcost – £175,000 over 3 years)
NATIONAL AUDIT FOR ACUPUNCTURE
There is a need to aid development of the profession of acupuncturists and to spread knowledge of their work. Therefore a national service is to be developed.
- To design an audit system (software, materials and a training package) which will support acupuncturists in their clinical work;
- To establish a database of treatments and outcomes which will influence policy and aid development of the profession.
The project will be carried out in collaboration with the professional acupuncturists organizations. (Projected Cost – £175,000 over 3 years)
OTHER RESEARCH PROJECTS UNDER CONSIDERATION INCLUDE:
Bronchial Asthma in Children Chronic Brain Injury Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Improvement in Function of Autistic and Learning-Disabled Children Chronic Back Pain Acute Cardiac Illness Epilepsy Evaluation of Different Models of Delivering Integrated Medicine Examination of Techniques Used For Diagnosis in Complementary Medicine Identification of Users of Complementary Medicine Who Would Benefit From The Availability of an Integrated Medical Service Evaluation of Different Delivery Methods of integrated Medical Services.
Outline costs for these projects are of the order of £2.5 million. The initial research projects wilt cost £1 million. (Total Costs – £3.5 million)
THE BOARD OF THE FOUNDATION
A small Board will oversee the policy and management of the Foundation. Hugh van Cutsem, Chairman of the Board Keith Bayliss, Director; Kicinwort Benson Dr. Peter Fenwick, Institute of Psychiatry, The Maudvlcy Hospital Ian Marks CBE, Chairman of the Aim Foundation Professor Richard Petty, University ofPennsylvania The Rt. Hon. the Baroness Rawlings.
For further information, please Contact: The Foundation for Integrated Medicine, 7th Floor; Windsor House, 83 Kingsway Landon WC2B 6SD. Telephone: 0171 242 3355. Registered charity number: 1026800.