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Explore (NY). 2010 May-Jun;6(3):143-58. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2010.03.007.

Research on integrative healthcare: context and priorities.

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  • 1Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1429 First Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.


It is important that integrative healthcare research be conducted to optimize the effectiveness, safety, costs, and social and economic impact of prospective, personalized, patient-centered, comprehensive, and holistic healthcare that focuses on well-being as well as disease management, and that the research itself be well understood. The scope of this research extends beyond evaluation of specific therapies, to include evaluations of multimodality whole system intervention, practitioner-patient relationships, patient goals and priorities, promoting self-care and resilience, personalized diagnostic and therapeutic measures, practitioner well-being, the comparative effectiveness of different educational and outreach strategies in improving health and healthcare, and the environmental/social causes and consequence of health and healthcare. In this paper, we describe the state of the science of research on integrative healthcare, research needs, and opportunities offered by cutting-edge research tools. We propose a framework for setting priorities in integrative health research, list areas for discussion, and pose a few questions on a future research agenda.

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