A partnership between the University of Toronto (U of T) and The Scarborough Hospital (TSH), the Centre will harness the considerable scientific and clinical expertise of these two institutions to evaluate CAM and its integration with conventional medicine. It will bring together researchers from U of T’s Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and Faculty of Medicine alongside health care professionals at TSH to provide evidence-based practices to ensure patients make informed choices about the safe and effective use of CAM therapies as part of their health care. These therapies include many different practices and products such as natural health products, massage, meditation, and acupuncture, to name just a few.
Delivering needed answers
The Centre has three goals:
- To conduct research to enable individuals to make evidence-informed decisions about the safe and effective use of CAM as part of their care. This will include basic science research to better understand how natural health products affect wellbeing, as well as clinical research to know how patients are using CAM and its impact on health.
- To identify evidence-informed practices that improve the planning, delivery, outcomes and cost-effectiveness of health care across diverse patient populations.
- To educate health professionals and patients about CAM.
The Centre will take an interprofessional approach, bringing together many health professionals including nurses, physicians, pharmacists, CAM practitioners and others who work in the health care field. The Centre will include researchers from multiple disciplines including pharmacology and toxicology, biochemistry, population health, health economics and more. This will ensure that the knowledge gained at a bench in a laboratory is put into action at the bedside. It will also ensure that the lessons learned from how patients currently use CAM inform future research. The Centre will deliver the answers individuals seek about their day-to-day health, with an emphasis on disease prevention, health promotion and the management of chronic conditions that may benefit from complementary treatment, for instance pain control.