Symptoms such as pain, nausea/vomiting and anxiety are common in hospitalized patients. Health care providers and patients are showing increasing interest in the use of complementary health care, especially alongside conventional medical care. This “Integrative Medicine” model of care has the advantages of bringing together potentially safe and effective interventions informed by research, supported by evidence-based resources and clinical expertise, and centered on patients’ and their caregivers’ values, goals, and preferences.
The Pediatric Integrative Medicine Trial (“PIM Trial”) took place between 2013 and 2016 at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton, Alberta. Hospitalized children wanting additional support for management of pain, nausea/vomiting, and/or anxiety (“PNVA”) were offered their choice of acupuncture, massage therapy or reiki at no cost to families. Led by the CARE Program and supported by the University of Alberta, the trial is studying the effects of an inpatient PIM service when added to conventional medical care. The trial will assess and compare costs, length of hospital stay, safety and effectiveness of therapies (CAM and conventional), and quality of life and satisfaction with care as determined by patients, their caregivers and health care providers.
To our knowledge, the PIM Trial is the first to assess the impact of a PIM service for hospitalized children. This study will provide the rigorous evidence that health care decision-makers need to determine whether integrative medicine should be offered to children while they are in hospital, and will help address an important gap in public health policy and practice.
For more details please see:
Vohra S, Schlegelmilch M, Jou H, et al. Comparative effectiveness of pediatric integrative medicine as an adjunct to usual care for pediatric inpatients of a North American tertiary care centre: A study protocol for a pragmatic cluster controlled trial. Contemp Clin Trials Commun. 2016;5:12-18.