As a first step in furthering research on whole person health, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) along with a number of others, held a workshop on Methodological Approaches for Whole Person Research in September 2021. This workshop highlighted the types of research studies needed to explore the fundamental science of interconnected systems, investigate multicomponent interventions or therapeutic systems, examine the impact of these interventions on multisystem or multiorgan outcomes, and explore methodologies from diverse fields that could be applied to advance whole person research.

On October 17-18, 2022, AACIPM was invited to attend NCCIH Stakeholder Meeting for Research on Whole Person Health and voice our research interests. We emphasized six key points to help connect more dots:

  1. We need agreement around quality standards and outcome measurements for CIH for pain
  2. Pragmatic trials, CER, utilization data & cost analyses are critically important but ample quality studies are not available.  For example, AHRQ acknowledged the paucity of evidence available during a recent review on pain management which led to sweeping statements based on so few evidentiary resources.
  3. We need collaboration on new funding opportunities to assess CIH approaches in the safety net, such as FQHCs.
  4. It is necessary for implementation science to embed whole person health into clinical settings so that findings can be translated into real-world settings
  5. Novel mobile health and telehealth-based self-management systems and devices are integral especially with data showing a near absence of integrative workforce available in low income, non-white zip codes.
  6. We urge NCCIH to develop targeted funding opportunities that include collaboration with and dissemination across many key stakeholders.