Since 2016, the VA’s Quality Enhancement Research Initiative Complementary and Integrative Health Evaluation Center has been evaluating the implementation of evidence-based complementary and integrative health (CIH) therapies and the effectiveness of novel CIH therapies as non-pharmacological options for Veteran/employee health. CIH therapies are a core component of VA’s Whole Health approach—a cutting-edge method of care that supports Veterans’ health and well-being by focusing on what matters to each individual patient, as well as considering the wider context of Veterans’ lives and families. The CIHEC’s efforts to evaluate evidence for certain CIH therapies helped to support the incorporation of eight CIH therapies that are now part of VA’s standard medical benefits package.
Results from the CIHEC’s efforts are supported via national dissemination strategies, including CIHEC's Getting the Word Out project. In collaboration with VA’s Office of Patient-Centered Care and Cultural Transformation, this project released two dissemination products: the Library of Research Articles on Veterans and Complementary and Integrative Health Therapies and Chiropractic Care; and the Registry of Current Research on Veterans and Complementary and Integrative Health Therapies and Chiropractic Care. Both have been widely circulated within and outside of VA.
The Library’s goal is to help clinicians and investigators who are interested in CIH therapies stay up-to-date on research being conducted on CIH in collaboration with Veterans. Users can select articles organized by type of CIH therapy, such as acupuncture, biofeedback, guided imagery, meditation, and yoga. Users may also select articles organized by type of health outcome, such as pain, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. The Library also provides citations with links to either the entire article or to a PubMed entry, and for papers published beginning in 2010, the article abstract, if available. Library curators expect to conduct an annual update.
CIHEC’s Research Registry is intended to help foster VA CIH research capacity and collaboration among researchers. It lists all CIH research studies that were conducted among Veterans and funded by either VA, the National Institutes of Health, or the Department of Defense beginning in 2016. It lists the principal investigator’s name and institution, study title, and years of funding. It is available to VA and public audiences on OPCC&CT’s website, but also is disseminated to the Scientific Program Managers at the three collaborating federal agencies. The Research Registry will be updated annually.
For questions, please contact both Stephanie L. Taylor, PhD, Director, CIHEC, and Mike McGowan, Library and Research Registry Project Manager.