Integrative Medicine Research
More and more research studies and clinical trials are being conducted to examine the efficacy and effectiveness of integrative health therapies. The conditions for which centers of integrative health around the U.S. have reported the most clinical success are, in order, chronic pain, gastrointestinal disorders, depression/anxiety, cancer and stress.
The publication Integrative Medicine in America* reports that 75 percent of patients who seek therapy at a center for integrative health do so for chronic pain, and report finding relief. About 59 percent of centers report having success in treating gastrointestinal disorders, such as chronic constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and colitis. Yet another significant condition that people seek care for are depression and anxiety.
Patients who are receiving conventional cancer treatment also seek out integrative health therapies for emotional and nutritional support. These therapies – such as acupuncture – can ease symptoms of cancer treatment, including the fatigue that can be a side effect of chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
Finally, stress management is a major component of integrative health. Directors of many integrative health centers cite this as a key mission: helping to relieve suffering, and the illness that can ensue, through stress reduction.
* Horrigan B, Lewis S, Abrams DI, Pechura C. Integrative Medicine in America—How Integrative Medicine Is Being Practiced in Clinical Centers Across the United States. Glob Adv Health Med. 2012;1(3):18–94. doi:10.7453/gahmj.2012.1.3.006
The experts at University Hospitals Connor Integrative Health Network also conduct research and clinical trials to further investigate the helpfulness of integrative therapies in treating a variety of symptoms and conditions. Learn more about our research and clinical trials. The following published research studies provide details on the efficacy of the above mentioned treatments:
Research Studies on Acupuncture
- Acceptability, Adaptation, and Clinical Outcomes of Acupuncture Provided in the Emergency Department: A Retrospective Pilot Study. Reinstein AS, Erickson LO, Griffin KH, Rivard RL, Kapsner CE, Finch MD, Dusek JA. Pain Med. 2017 Jan 30;18(1):169-178. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnv114. PubMed PMID: 26917627
- Acupuncture in the treatment of upper-limb lymphedema: results of a pilot study.Cassileth BR1, Van Zee KJ, Yeung KS, Coleton MI, Cohen S, Chan YH, Vickers AJ, Sjoberg DD, Hudis CA. Cancer. 2013 Jul 1; 119(13):2455-61. PubMed PMID: 23576267.
- Acupuncture: Could an ancient therapy be the latest advance in the treatment of lymphedema? Lawenda BD, Vicini FA. Cancer. 2013 Jul 1; 119(13):2362-5. PubMed PMID: 23576216.
- Acupuncture Deqi Intensity and Propagated Sensation along Channels May, Respectively, Differ due to Different Body Positions of Subjects. Xiang-Zhu Chen, Yun-Kuan Yang, Jie Yang, et al. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 897048.
- Acupuncture and counselling for depression in primary care: a randomised controlled trial. MacPherson H1, Richmond S, Bland M, Brealey S, Gabe R, Hopton A, Keding A, Lansdown H, Perren S, Sculpher M, Spackman E, Torgerson D, Watt I. PLoS Med. 2013; 10(9):e1001518. PubMed PMID: 24086114.
- The effectiveness of acupuncture for chronic daily headache: an outcomes study. Plank S1, Goodard J. Mil Med. 2009 Dec; 174(12):1276-81. PubMed PMID: 20055068.
- Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration. Acupuncture for chronic pain: individual patient data meta-analysis. Vickers AJ1, Cronin AM, Maschino AC, Lewith G, MacPherson H, Foster NE, Sherman KJ, Witt CM, Linde K; Arch Intern Med. 2012 Oct 22; 172(19):1444-53. PubMed PMID: 22965186.
- The Effect of Patient Characteristics on Acupuncture Treatment Outcomes: An Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis of 20,827 Chronic Pain Patients in Randomized Controlled Trials. Witt CM, Vertosick EA, Foster NE, Lewith G, Linde K, MacPherson H, Sherman KJ, Vickers AJ Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration; Clin J Pain. 2019 May;35(5):428-434. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0000000000000691. PubMed PMID: 30908336
- Assessing the Impact of Acupuncture on Pain, Nausea, Anxiety, and Coping in Women Undergoing a Mastectomy. Quinlan-Woodward J, Gode A, Dusek JA, Reinstein AS, Johnson JR, Sendelbach S. Oncol Nurs Forum. 2016 Nov 1;43(6):725-732. PubMed PMID: 27768139
Research Studies on Meditation/Relaxation
- The effects of relaxation response meditation on the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome: results of a controlled treatment study. Keefer L1, Blanchard EB. Behav Res Ther. 2001 Jul; 39(7):801-11. PubMed PMID: 11419611.
- The relaxation response: reducing stress and improving cognition in healthy aging adults.Galvin JA1, Benson H, Deckro GR, Fricchione GL, Dusek JA. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2006 Aug; 12(3):186-91. PubMed PMID: 16835029.
- Stress management versus lifestyle modification on systolic hypertension and medication elimination: a randomized trial. Dusek JA1, Hibberd PL, Buczynski B, Chang BH, Dusek KC, Johnston JM, Wohlhueter AL, Benson H, Zusman RM. J Altern Complement Med.2008 Mar; 14(2):129-38. PubMed PMID: 18315510.
- Relaxation & pain management: the relaxation response can play a role in managing chronic and acute pain. Schaffer SD1, Yucha CB. Am J Nurs. 2004 Aug; 104(8):75-6, 78-9, 81-2. PubMed PMID: 15300063.
- Genomic counter-stress changes induced by the relaxation response. Dusek JA1, Otu HH, Wohlhueter AL, Bhasin M, Zerbini LF, Joseph MG, Benson H, Libermann TA. PLoS One. 2008 Jul 2; 3(7):e2576. PubMed PMID: 18596974.
- Functional brain mapping of the relaxation response and meditation. Lazar SW1, Bush G, Gollub RL, Fricchione GL, Khalsa G, Benson H. Neuroreport. 2000 May 15; 11(7):1581-5. PubMed PMID: 10841380.
- Specific Transcriptome Changes Associated with Blood Pressure Reduction in Hypertensive Patients After Relaxation Response Training. Bhasin MK, Denninger JW, Huffman JC, Joseph MG, Niles H, Chad-Friedman E, Goldman R, Buczynski-Kelley B, Mahoney BA, Fricchione GL, Dusek JA, Benson H, Zusman RM, Libermann TA. J Altern Complement Med. 2018 May;24(5):486-504. doi: 10.1089/acm.2017.0053. Epub 2018 Apr 4. PMID: 29616846
Research Studies on Mindfulness
- Neural Mechanisms Supporting the Relationship between Dispositional Mindfulness and Pain. Zeidan F1, Salomons T2, Farris SR1, Emerson NM, Adler-Neal A1, Jung Y3, Coghill RC1,4.
- Contemplating Mindfulness at Work: An Integrative Review. Darren J. Good, Christopher J. Lyddy, Theresa M. Glomb.
- Mindfulness group therapy in primary care patients with depression, anxiety and stress and adjustment disorders: randomised controlled trial. Sundquist J1, Lilja Å1, Palmér K1, Memon AA1, Wang X1, Johansson LM1, Sundquist K1. Br J Psychiatry. 2015 Feb; 206(2):128-35. PubMed PMID: 25431430.
- Resilience Training: A Pilot Study of a Mindfulness-Based Program with Depressed Healthcare Professionals. Johnson JR, Emmons HC, Rivard RL, Griffin KH, Dusek JA. Explore (NY). 2015 Nov-Dec;11(6):433-44. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2015.08.002. Epub 2015 Aug 21. PubMed PMID: 26410675
Research Studies on Music Therapy
- The Effects of a Single Electronic Music Improvisation Session on the Pain of Adults with Sickle Cell Disease: A Mixed Methods Pilot Study. Samuel N Rodgers-Melnick, MT-BC, Nadine Matthie, PhD, RN, CNL, Coretta Jenerette, PhD, RN, CNE, AOCN, FAAN, Tara J Griest Pell, MA, MT-BC, Deforia Lane, PhD, MT-BC, Pingfu Fu, PhD, Seunghee Margevicius, DNP, MA, RN, Jane A Little, MD. Journal of Music Therapy, Volume 55, Issue 2, Summer 2018, Pages 156–185.
- Effects of music therapy on anesthesia requirements and anxiety in women undergoing ambulatory breast surgery for cancer diagnosis and treatment: A randomized controlled trial. Bradley Palmer J, Lane D, Mayo D, et al. Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2015 Aug 17 pii: JCO.2016.26.6014 PubMed PMID: 26282640
- Music therapy reduces pain in palliative care patients: A randomized controlled trial.Gutgsell KJ, Schluchter M, Margevicus S, et al. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 2013 May ; 45 (5): 822-31. PubMed PMID: 23107609
- The effect of a single music therapy session on hospitalized children as measured by salivary immunoglobulin A, speech pause time, and a patient opinion likert scale. Lane D. Pediatric Research, 1991: 29 (4), 2:11A
- The Effects of a Single Music Therapy Session on the Pain of Adult Patients with Sickle Cell Disease: A Mixed Methods Study. Rodgers-Melnick, Samuel; Kulas Foundation. In: ClinicalTrials.gov [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US). 2015. NLM Identifier: NCT02270060
- Music Therapy in Sickle Cell Transition Study. Rodgers-Melnick, Samuel; Kulas Foundation. In: ClinicalTrials.gov [Internet]. Bethesda (MD): National Library of Medicine (US). 2015. NLM Identifier: NCT02466555
- The Effects of Music on Pain: A Meta-Analysis. Lee JH. J Music Ther. 2016 Winter;53(4):430-477. doi: 10.1093/jmt/thw012. Epub 2016 Oct 19. Review. PubMed PMID: 27760797
Research Studies on Myofascial Release
- A pilot study of myofascial release therapy compared to Swedish massage in fibromyalgia. Liptan G, Mist S, Wright C, Arzt A, Jones KD. J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2013 Jul; 17(3):365-70. PMID: 23768283.
- Myofascial release as a treatment for orthopaedic conditions: a systematic review.McKenney K, Elder AS, Elder C, Hutchins A. J Athl Train. 2013 Jul-Aug; 48(4): 522-7. PubMed PMID: 23725488.
Research Studies on General Integrative Medicine
- Cost Savings from Reducing Pain Through the Delivery of Integrative Medicine Program to Hospitalized Patients. Dusek JA, Griffin KH, Finch MD, Rivard RL, Watson D. J Altern Complement Med. 2018 Jun;24(6):557-563. doi: 10.1089/acm.2017.0203. Epub 2018 Feb 23. PubMed PMID: 29474095
- Evidence-Based Nonpharmacologic Strategies for Comprehensive Pain Care: The Consortium Pain Task Force White Paper. Tick H, Nielsen A, Pelletier KR, Bonakdar R, Simmons S, Glick R, Ratner E, Lemmon RL, Wayne P, Zador V; Pain Task Force of the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health. Explore (NY). 2018 May - Jun;14(3):177-211. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2018.02.001. Epub 2018 Mar 1. PubMed PMID: 29735382
- Exploring the effectiveness of a comprehensive mind-body intervention for medical symptom relief. Samuelson M1, Foret M, Baim M, Lerner J, Fricchione G, Benson H, Dusek J, Yeung A. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Feb; 16(2):187-92. PubMed PMID: 20180692.
- Quality of life, coping strategies and support needs of women seeking Traditional Chinese Medicine for infertility and viable pregnancy in Australia: a mixed methods approach. Alfred A, Ried K. BMC Women’s Health 2013, 13:17.
- The effect of external rhythmic cues (auditory and visual) on walking during a functional task in homes of people with Parkinson's disease. Rochester L1, Hetherington V, Jones D, Nieuwboer A, Willems AM, Kwakkel G, Van Wegen E. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2005 May; 86(5):999-1006. PubMed PMID: 15895348.
Research Studies on Cancer Treatment
- Treating cancer-related fatigue: the search for interventions that target those most in need. Bower JE. J Clin Oncol. 2012 Dec 20; 30(36):4449-50. PubMed PMID: 23109702.
- Effects of complementary therapies on clinical outcomes in patients being treated with radiation therapy for prostate cancer. Beard C1, Stason WB, Wang Q, Manola J, Dean-Clower E, Dusek JA, Decristofaro S, Webster A, Doherty-Gilman AM, Rosenthal DS, Benson H. Cancer. 2011 Jan 1; 117(1):96-102. PubMed PMID: 20803609.
- Acupuncture for cancer-related fatigue in patients with breast cancer: a pragmatic randomized controlled trial. Molassiotis A1, Bardy J, Finnegan-John J, Mackereth P, Ryder DW, Filshie J, Ream E, Richardson A. J Clin Oncol. 2012 Dec 20; 30(36):4470-6. PubMed PMID: 23109700.
Research Study for Patients with Pre-Hypertension
UH Connor Integrative Health Network recently conducted a research study that looked at ways to manage pre-hypertension through lifestyle changes, including stress management. The Serenity Study was funded through a grant from the National Heart Blood and Lung Institute and is being conducted in collaboration with Kent State University and the University of Pennsylvania. The study was designed to test whether stress management training can help lower blood pressure among individuals with pre-hypertension.
This study is now closed.