207083 Evaluation protocol for military integrative medicine programs

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lara G. Hilton, MPH , Research Programming Group, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA
Ian Coulter, PhD , RAND/Samueli Chair for Integrative Medicine, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA
Gery Ryan, PhD , RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA
Military medicine is quickly reaching capacity for providing care for conditions such as stress and mood disorders. Moreover, these conditions often do not respond optimally to conventional medicine. The military has adopted pre-emptive strategies which advance care for stress. The Center for Research in Integrative Medicine in the Military at the Samueli Institute project takes pre-emptive care one step further by seeking to develop, test and validate an Integrative Medicine (IM)-based training program for combat soldiers that would be inserted into the combat deployment cycle, in order to pre-empt the negative effects of combat exposure. Several civilian programs have been adapted to address military needs and a few have provided training to military personnel, but have not done in depth outcomes evaluation. This specific paper focuses on the issues of evaluation of IM programs and will have two specific aims: 1) To present a protocol for the evaluation of IM training programs; and 2) To present a protocol for assessing the clinical outcomes in IM. The main objective of the project is to provide military decision makers with a method that may be used to establish evidence in order to determine whether expansion of such training will effectively support and restore the mind-body-spirit balance of our nation's warriors. This proposal is being developed in relation to a broader project being conducted through the Center for Research in Integrative Medicine in the Military at the Samueli Institute.

Learning Objectives:
1. List the components of program evaluation 2. Articulate the challenges in evaluating integrative medicine 3. Develop a plan for program evaluation

Keywords: Evaluation, Alternative Medicine/Therapies

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the research, analysis and report writing on this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.