Complementary and Integrated Medicine Research Unit, University of Southampton
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The Complementary & Integrated Medicine Research Unit is a research group based at Southampton University School of Medicine operating within the Department of Primary Medical Care. The unit was established by George Lewith in 1995 with core funding from the Maurice Laing Foundation.
One in ten of the UK population use complementary medicine each year and approximately 50% are lifetime users. The unit has therefore focused some of its research on how people use CAM. and looks at methodology in Cam research. The House of Lords’ Select committee Report in 2000 clearly defined a public need for further research into both safety and efficacy. As a consequence the unit has been able to attract around £5 million in funding over the past decade. This makes the Southampton group the best funded and most successful UK research group within this field, as well as being one of the most successful European groups in terms of external peer review funded projects.
Staffing and approach
The complementary medicine research unit has a multidisciplinary team (non-clinical post-docs, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists and health psychologists) in Southampton which has focused on primary clinical research within CAM.
These studies have been directed at asking not only where complementary therapies may be most applicable, but whether and how they work. There has also been an emphasis on the nature and content of the therapeutic relationship within complementary medicine. The unit is in the process of developing clinical trial methodology that will allow it to look at the consultation independently from a particular therapeutic intervention, focusing particularly on the non-specific effects of homeopathy and acupuncture in chronic disease.
- Lewith, George (2005). "Complementary medicine research unit". Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine (eCAM). 2 (3): 399–407. doi:10.1093/ecam/neh109.