Health services research as a framework for expanding a whole systems research agenda in complementary and integrative medicine: The example of intestinal permeability

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Journal Article
European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2018, 17 pp. 22 - 25
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© 2017 Elsevier GmbH Introduction Two of the three pillars of evidence-based practice emphasise the importance of using the best available academic research and experience from clinical practice to inform patient care. This paper aims to outline the potential value of exploring and describing insights from clinical practice through health services research to inform whole system research. Methods Concepts and ideas were developed from non-systematic review of published literature and extensive academic and clinical experience within the disciplines of health services research and clinical trials. Results Through deductive reasoning, complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) practitioners may have identified new understanding of the management of disease not yet seen in published literature. The area where investigating CIM practitioners in clinical practice may advance the clinical understanding of particular conditions is extensive. For instance, increased intestinal permeability (IP) is speculated to be involved in diseases frequently seen within clinical practice. IP is considered multifactorial with involvement from genetic and environmental factors. Conclusions CIM practitioners report clinical experience in the management of digestive disorders; their practice wisdom may add new knowledge to the significance of IP within clinical practice and outline testing parameters. Furthermore, the whole system treatment approach used by CIM practitioners may provide insight into new options for the management of IP not known or shared in published literature. Investigating the approaches CIM practitioners use within clinical practice may provide advancements in the clinical understanding of IP and other conditions. Exploring clinical practice may identify new knowledge that may translate to improvement in patient care.
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