Developing a multi-modality complementary medicine practice-based research network: The PRACI project

Publisher:
Elsevier
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Advances in Integrative Medicine, 2014, 1 (3), pp. 113 - 118
Issue Date:
2014-12
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© 2014 Elsevier Ltd Objectives Outline the protocol to be used in the establishment of the Practitioner and Researcher Collaboration Initiative (PRACI) – an innovative national practice-based research network (PBRN) for complementary medicine (CM) professions in Australia. Design and methods A multiphase research design will be employed. Phase 1 will involve geographical mapping of CM practitioner workforce population and location across Australia. Phase 2 involves initial practitioner member recruitment encompassing a preliminary workforce survey to allow population of key information for the PRACI database. Phase 3 will employ a comprehensive practitioner member survey which examines the nature and characteristics of contemporary CM practice. Results PRACI will be a multi-modality PBRN which encompasses 14 CM professions: acupuncturists, aromatherapists, Ayurveda practitioners, Bowen therapists, Chinese herbalists, homoeopaths, kinesiologists, massage therapists, musculoskeletal therapists, myotherapists, naturopaths, nutritionists (non-dietetic), reflexologists, Western herbalists, and yoga teachers. Once established, researchers will be able to utilise the PRACI network and infrastructure to undertake CM research which is embedded in, responsive to, and informed by clinical practice. An Expression of Interest (EOI) process by which potential new research through PRACI is vetted based upon feedback by researchers, community representatives and practitioner members. The PRACI network will enable a broad range of research designs including experimental, observational and qualitative research. As such, research conducted through PRACI will be able to examine important research questions and advance new knowledge about contemporary CM practice. Conclusions PRACI is a practice-based research network which has the potential to offer the CM professions a legacy of clinically relevant research which is embedded in the realities of practice and which can provide a platform for future critical investigation and rigorous enquiry.
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