Global Advances in Health and Medicine

Published by SAGE Publications
Online ISSN: 2164-9561
Print ISSN: 2164-957X
Publications
This article describes the history and findings of the Epidaurus Project, a Uniformed Services University-affiliated project to bring holistic care and evidence-based design into the Military Health System (MHS). A distinguished group of civilian thought leaders contributed. The 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process offered a chance to implement the Epidaurus agenda. A new integrated healthcare delivery system, centered around the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda, Maryland, was the result. These facilities will be templates for a new generation of MHS "healing environments" and a model for innovative systems of healthcare nationwide. The Epidaurus Project represents a significant collaboration between civilian medicine and the military in times of war.
 
Optimal human function and performance through diet strategies are critical for everyone but especially for those involved in collegiate or professional athletics. Currently, individualized medicine (IM) is emerging as a more efficacious approach to health with emphasis on personalized diet strategies for the public and is common practice for elite athletes. One method for directing patient-specific foods in the diet, while concomitantly impacting physical performance, may be via IgG food sensitivity and Candida albicans analysis from dried blood spot (DBS) collections. The authors designed a quasi-experimental, nonrandomized, pilot study without a control group. Twenty-three participants, 15 female, 8 male, from soccer/volleyball and football athletic teams, respectively, mean age 19.64+0.86 years, were recruited for the study, which examined preposttest 300-meter run times and questionnaire responses after a 14-day IgG DBS-directed food elimination diet based on IgG reactivity to 93 foods. DBS specimen collection, 300-meter run times, and Learning Difficulties Assessment (LDA) questionnaires were collected at the participants' university athletics building on campus. IgG, C albicans, and S cerevisiae analyses were conducted at the Great Plains Laboratory, Lenexa, Kansas. Data indicated a change in 300-meter run time but not of statistical significance (run time baseline mean=50.41 sec, run time intervention mean=50.14 sec). Descriptive statistics for frequency of responses and chi-square analysis revealed that 4 of the 23 items selected from the LDA (Listening-Memory and Concentration subscale R=.8669; Listening-Information Processing subscale R=.8517; and General Concentration and Memory subscale R=.9019) were improved posttest. The study results did not indicate merit in eliminating foods based on IgG reactivity for affecting athletic performance (faster 300-meter run time) but did reveal potential for affecting academic qualities of listening, information processing, concentration, and memory. Further studies are warranted evaluating IgG-directed food elimination diets for improving run time, concentration, and memory among college athletes as well as among other populations.
 
Integrative health coaching (IHC) offers significant health improvement in biometric measures without pharmaceuticals. In this case of newly diagnosed impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) with obesity, IHC used the patient's strengths to reverse IGT, prevent frank diabetes, and reduce weight by 40 lbs or 21% of her original weight. This intervention included a client self-assessment and 14 in-person health coaching sessions over 11 months. IHC provides a framework to accomplish short-term goals and identify and overcome barriers while drawing on the strengths and aims of the individual.
 
We report on the safety of non-insertive acupuncture (NIA) in 54 newborns diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in a busy inner city hospital. For this case series, a retrospective chart review was conducted. Data on participant demographics, number of NIA treatments, provider referrals, and outcomes of interest (sleeping, feeding, and adverse events) were collected. Of the 54 newborns receiving NIA, 86% were non-Hispanic White; 87% were on Medicaid, and gestational age ranged from 33.2 to 42.1 weeks. Out of 54 chart reviews, a total of 92 NIA sessions were documented ranging from 1 to 6 sessions per infant. Of the total number of treatments (n = 92), 73% were requested by a physician. Chart reviews reported restless infants calmed down during NIA, babies slept through or fell asleep immediately following NIA, and better feeding was noted following NIA. There were no adverse events noted in the medical records. This retrospective chart review shows potential for the use of NIA as an adjunctive treatment in newborns with NAS symptoms during hospitalization. More research is necessary to study whether the incorporation of NIA can result in positive outcomes in newborns withdrawing from narcotics.
 
Strategies are needed to improve adolescent substance abuse treatment outcomes. For example, during outpatient substance abuse treatment, up to 80% of adolescents continue to use.(1),(2) Following residential substance abuse treatment, 88% of adolescents relapse within 6 months.(3.)
 
Global Advances in Health and Medicine (GAHMJ) interviewed Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC, ABIHM, at the beginning of 2014 as the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine broadens its mission and purpose to become the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM).
 
Niacin favorably modifies cardiovascular risk factors but is associated with flushing and shows limited benefit in improving endothelial function. We investigated whether combining anti-inflammatory tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids (THIAA) from hops with niacin would improve endothelial function. We hypothesized that the THIAA+niacin combination would demonstrate benefits not seen with niacin alone. In an in vitro model, a THIAA+niacin mixture inhibited several TNF-α-induced cytokines in human aortic endothelial cells and in human monocytic cells and was significantly more efficacious than niacin alone. Subsequently, the effect of 125 mg THIAA and 500 mg niacin on endothelial-regulated flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) was explored in a pilot study of 11 dyslipidemic volunteers. The 12-week treatment (2 tablets/day) resulted in a clinically relevant FMD increase compared to a trend toward an FMD decrease with placebo; the between-arm difference was statistically significant. THIAA+niacin treatment also improved total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and uric acid. No significant improvement in these parameters was observed with placebo. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein was significantly increased only in the placebo arm. Nutritional support with a THIAA+niacin combination may provide benefits for endothelial function in those with dyslipidemia.
 
Summary of Main Review Articles With Results 
Immigrant women of Mexican birth face unique health challenges in the United States. They are at increased risk for developing many preventable health conditions due in part to limited access to healthcare and benefits, legal status, and inadequate income. Increased vulnerability of women has established a growing need to focus on their healthcare needs because of their role, position, and influence in the family. The purpose of this article is to review factors that impact the health status of Mexican-born women living in the United States and review policy implications of the Affordable Care Act for this population. Mexican-born women are the largest female immigrant group in the United States. Therefore, they comprise the group that will need health coverage in the greatest proportion. As a result, there will be a need for culturally and linguistically appropriate healthcare services and culturally sensitive providers.
 
The urinary tract is a common site of infection in humans. During pregnancy, urinary tract infection (UTI) is associated with increased risks of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality, even when the infection is asymptomatic. By mapping available rates of UTI in pregnancy across different populations, we emphasize this as a problem of global significance. Many countries with high rates of preterm birth and neonatal mortality also have rates of UTI in pregnancy that exceed rates seen in more developed countries. A global analysis of the etiologies of UTI revealed familiar culprits as well as emerging threats. Screening and treatment of UTI have improved birth outcomes in several more developed countries and would likely improve maternal and neonatal health worldwide. However, challenges of implementation in resource-poor settings must be overcome. We review the nature of the barriers occurring at each step of the screening and treatment pipeline and highlight steps necessary to overcome these obstacles. It is our hope that the information compiled here will increase awareness of the global significance of UTI in maternal and neonatal health and embolden governments, nongovernmental organizations, and researchers to do their part to make urine screening and UTI treatment a reality for all pregnant women.
 
A multivitamin-multimineral supplement combined with a diverse blend of bioactive phytochemicals may provide additional antioxidant capacity and anti-inflammatory property for overall health. This convenient feature may be useful for individuals who want to increase their intake of phytochemicals. We conducted a pilot study in 15 healthy individuals (8 women and 7 men, mean age 41.7±14.9 years, mean body mass index 28.0±5.6) to investigate the effects of this novel formulation on biomarkers associated with oxidative stress and inflammation. After a 2-week diet that limited intake of fruits and vegetables to 2 servings/day, participants continued with the same restricted diet but began consuming 2 tablets of the study product for the subsequent 4 weeks. Fasting blood samples collected at Week 2 and Week 6 were analyzed and compared using paired t-tests for levels of carotenoids, folate, vitamin B12, homocysteine, oxidized low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (oxLDL), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), F2-isoprostane, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), and myeloperoxidase. Noninvasive peripheral arterial tonometry (EndoPAT) was also measured. After 4 weeks of supplementation, plasma levels of carotenoids, folate, and vitamin B12, but not homocysteine, were significantly increased (P<.05). Serum levels of oxLDL, PAI-1 and myeloperoxidase were significantly reduced (P<.05), but F2-isoprostane, hs-CRP, and EndoPAT measures were unchanged compared with baseline. The study product was well tolerated. This nutritional supplement is bioavailable as indicated by the significant increase in plasma carotenoids, vitamin B12, and folate levels and may provide health benefits by significantly reducing serum levels of oxLDL, myeloperoxidase, and PAI-1 in healthy individuals.
 
Health system primary data sources. 
Healthcare organizations have invested in electronic patient data systems, yet use of health data to optimize personalized care has been limited. To develop and pilot an integrated source of health system data related to breast healthcare. This study is a quality improvement project. Patient-level data from multiple internal sources were identified, mapped to a common data model, linked, and validated to create a breast healthcare-specific data mart. Linkages were based on matching algorithms using patient identifiers to group data from the same patient. Data definitions, a data dictionary, and indicators for quality and benchmarking aligned with standardized measures. Clinical pathways were developed to outline the patient populations, data elements, decision points, and outcomes for specific conditions. Electronic data sources in a community-based health system in the United States. Women receiving breast cancer screening, prevention, and diagnosis services. Distribution of mammography examinations and pathologic results of breast biopsies. From 2008 to 2011, 200768 screening and 50200 diagnostic mammograms were obtained; rates varied by age over time. Breast biopsies for 7332 women indicated 23.3% with invasive breast cancer, 6.7% with ductal carcinoma in situ, and 70.0% with nonmalignant diagnoses that would not have been further differentiated by administrative codes alone. Evaluation of validity and efficiency and additional tracking of clinical outcomes are needed. The creation of a patient-centered data system by connecting and integrating disparate data sources within a large health system allows customized analyses of data and improves capacity for clinical decision making and personalized healthcare.
 
Chinese scalp acupuncture is a contemporary acupuncture technique integrating traditional Chinese needling methods with Western medical knowledge of representative areas of the cerebral cortex. It has been proven to be a most effective technique for treating acute and chronic central nervous system disorders. Scalp acupuncture often produces remarkable results with just a few needles and usually brings about immediate improvement, sometimes taking only several seconds to a minute. Acupuncture, a therapeutic technique of Oriental Medicine, can be traced back more than 2500 years. Throughout its long history, acupuncture has evolved as its own unique traditional medicine. By embracing newly developed knowledge and technology, the profession continues to create additional methods of treatment. Techniques such as electrical and laser acupuncture and even new acupuncture points are currently being developed. We believe scalp acupuncture, which integrates Western medicine with Traditional Chinese Medicine, to be the most significant development that Chinese acupuncture has made in the past 60 years.
 
A 6-year-old patient with cerebral palsy was treated with Chinese scalp acupuncture. The Speech I, Speech II, Motor, Foot motor and sensory, and Balance areas were stimulated once a week, then every other week for 15 sessions. His dysarthria, ataxia, and weakness of legs, arms, and hands showed significant improvement from each scalp acupuncture treatment, and after 15 sessions, the patient had recovered completely. This case report demonstrates that Chinese scalp acupuncture can satisfactorily treat a child with cerebral palsy. More research and clinical trials are needed so that the potential of scalp acupuncture to treat cerebral palsy can be fully explored and utilized.
 
Acupuncture is an often sought-out treatment modality for migraine. The World Health Organization lists headache as one of the several conditions treated effectively by acupuncture. This single case reports on a 32-year-old woman who presented with a 10-year history of migraine. The patient was treated with acupuncture, dietary modifications, and Chinese herbal medicine enemas over a course of 2 months. The patient experienced pain relief that resulted in several months without any migraine. This article may aid in expanding practitioners' treatment options to include a more diverse set of modalities such as Chinese herbal enemas. More research is needed to investigate the role of Oriental medicine and Chinese herbal enemas in the treatment of pain conditions.
 
Chinese scalp acupuncture is a contemporary acupuncture technique with just 40 years of history. It integrates traditional Chinese needling methods with Western medical knowledge of the cerebral cortex and has been proven to be a very effective technique for treating multiple sclerosis (MS) and other central nervous system disorders. A 65-year-old male patient who had had MS for 20 years was treated with Chinese scalp acupuncture. The motor area, sensory area, foot motor and sensory area, balance area, hearing and dizziness area, and tremor area were stimulated once a week for 10 weeks, then once a month for six sessions. After the 16 treatments, the patient showed remarkable improvements. He was able to stand and walk without any problems. The numbness and tingling in his limbs did not bother him anymore. He had more energy and had not experienced incontinence of urine or dizziness after the first treatment. He was able to return to work full time. At this writing, the patient has been in remission for 26 months. This case demonstrates that Chinese scalp acupuncture can be a very effective treatment for patients with MS. Chinese scalp acupuncture holds the potential to expand treatment options for MS in both conventional and complementary or integrative therapies. It can not only relieve symptoms, increase the patient's quality of life, and slow and reverse the progression of physical disability but also reduce the number of relapses and help patients with multiple sclerosis to remain in remission.
 
Common Pediatric Medications Used for Upper Respiratory Infections and Otitis Media Symptoms 
Substance Categories Most Frequently Involved in Pediatric (≤5 y) Exposures (Based on Data From the Top 25 Categories 4 ) 
Advantages of Homeopathic Treatment Over Standard Care Alone in Previous Pediatric Research on Upper Respiratory Infections and Otitis Media
The public health and individual risks of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing and conventional over-the-counter symptomatic drugs in pediatric treatment of acute otitis media (AOM) and upper respiratory infections (URIs) are significant. Clinical research suggests that over-the-counter homeopathic medicines offer pragmatic treatment alternatives to conventional drugs for symptom relief in children with uncomplicated AOM or URIs. Homeopathy is a controversial but demonstrably safe and effective 200-year-old whole system of complementary and alternative medicine used worldwide. Numerous clinical studies demonstrate that homeopathy accelerates early symptom relief in acute illnesses at much lower risk than conventional drug approaches. Evidence-based advantages for homeopathy include lower antibiotic fill rates during watchful waiting in otitis media, fewer and less serious side effects, absence of drug-drug interactions, and reduced parental sick leave from work. Emerging evidence from basic and preclinical science research counter the skeptics' claims that homeopathic remedies are biologically inert placebos. Consumers already accept and use homeopathic medicines for self care, as evidenced by annual US consumer expenditures of $2.9 billion on homeopathic remedies. Homeopathy appears equivalent to and safer than conventional standard care in comparative effectiveness trials, but additional well-designed efficacy trials are indicated. Nonetheless, the existing research evidence on safety supports pragmatic use of homeopathy in order to "first do no harm" in the early symptom management of otherwise uncomplicated AOM and URIs in children.
 
As part of its efforts to disseminate the results of Cochrane reviews to a wider audience, the Cochrane Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Field develops Summary of Findings (SoF) tables and then uses those tables as a basis for its plain-language summaries. Each SoF table presents the most important outcomes for the review as well as the effect of the intervention and the quality of the evidence for each outcome. The process of developing the SoF table involves deciding which outcomes to present for which time points and evaluating the strength and quality of the evidence for the outcomes. In this article, we present a Cochrane review about the effects of the use of probiotics for preventing acute upper respiratory tract infections. We contacted the authors of the Cochrane review to request clarification on points that we did not understand and to have them review the SoF table.
 
During the last decade, debate about the nation's ailing healthcare system has moved to the forefront. In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed into law. This groundbreaking piece of legislation impacts every aspect of the health industry, affecting everyone from doctors and health-care facilities to insurers and benefits consultants to business owners and patients. The ultimate goal of PPACA is to decrease the number of uninsured Americans and reduce the overall costs of healthcare.
 
Proposed model to understand biological (health), social (safety), and structural (equity) contexts of HIV risk for women.
Women and adolescent girls bear a significant burden of the global HIV pandemic. Both behavioral and biomedical prevention approaches have been shown to be effective. In order to foster the most effective combination HIV-prevention approaches for women and girls, it is imperative to understand the unique biological, social, and structural considerations that increase vulnerability to acquiring HIV within this population. The purpose of this article is to propose novel ideas for personalized biobehavioral HIV prevention for women and adolescent girls. The central argument is that we must transcend unilevel solutions for HIV prevention toward comprehensive, multilevel combination HIV prevention packages to actualize personalized biobehavioral HIV prevention. Our hope is to foster transnational dialogue among researchers, practitioners, educators, and policy makers toward the actualization of the proposed recommendations. We present a commentary organized to review biological, social, and structural factors that increase vulnerability to HIV acquisition among women and adolescent girls. The overview is followed by recommendations to curb HIV rates in the target population in a sustainable manner. The physiology of the lower female reproductive system biologically increases HIV risk among women and girls. Social (eg, intimate partner violence) and structural (eg, gender inequality) factors exacerbate this risk by increasing the likelihood of viral exposure. Our recommendations for personalized biobehavioral HIV prevention are to (1) create innovative mechanisms for personalized HIV risk-reduction assessments; (2) develop mathematical models of local epidemics; (3) prepare personalized, evidence-based combination HIV risk-reduction packages; (4) structure gender equity into society; and (5) eliminate violence (both physical and structural) against women and girls. Generalized programs and interventions may not have universal, transnational, and crosscultural implications. Personalized biobehavioral strategies are needed to comprehensively address vulnerabilities at biological, social, and structural levels.
 
Minority women and adolescent females of all races and ethnicities are disproportionately affected by unintended pregnancy in the United States. Adolescents also experience an additional proportion of the burden compared to other age groups, as 82% of pregnancies among women 19 years old and younger are unintended. Moreover, minority and adolescent mothers are at increased risk for having preterm deliveries, low birth weight infants, and other complications. Unintended pregnancy continues to be an important public health problem in the United States, and prevention through family planning is urgently needed. This review presents an overview of the US demographics for unintended pregnancy among both minority and adolescent women and identifies current and past eüorts to reduce unintended pregnancy, specifically among minority and adolescent females, through contraception and family-planning programs.
 
The Human Health Program at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, is an undergraduate curriculum that focuses on health in its broadest context, exploring novel strategies that educate, engage, empower, and encourage college students to develop and sustain healthy lifestyle behaviors. In the program, students take part in a onesemester experience that is a blend of academic health education and wellness coaching, where the group class supports a self-directed health goal process.
 
Nurse coaches are responding to the mandate of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)—the foundational philosopher of modern nursing—to advocate, identify, and focus on factors that promote health, healthy people, and healthy communities that are recognized today as environmental and social determinants of health.1,2 The Institute of Medicine report3 and other health initiatives suggest the need for increased education and leadership from nurses to address the healthcare needs of our nation and world. Nurse coaches are strategically pos-i tioned and equipped to implement health-promoting and evidence-based strategies with clients and support behavioral and lifestyle changes to enhance growth, overall health, and well-being. With possibilities not yet imagined, employment opportunities for nurses who incorporate coaching into professional practice are developing across the entire spectrum of health, well-ness, and healing.
 
Globally, healthcare systems are facing problems with increasing healthcare costs due to chronic diseases. Cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, and chronic lung disease are some of the top chronic diseases that put pressure on our healthcare systems and are very difficult to resolve. The chronic diseases mentioned are often lifestyle-related and require a personalized approach. The solutions that we currently have at hand seem to be insufficient in meeting the needs of the patients and of our healthcare systems: the cracks in our systems are showing. Patients with chronic illness and multimorbidity find themselves caught in a web of referrals between medical specialists and conflicting treatment plans. As a result, they are consuming a lot of healthcare without actually reaching their goal: attaining the most optimal quality of life and the least physical burden possible. In short, mechanisms that previously functioned perfectly must now be replaced by new approaches. The supply of the healthcare system no longer meets the demands of society.
 
When a patient with symptoms presents to a physician or other healthcare professional, the skillful practitioner notices not only where the patient is compromised but also how the patient is healthy. From ancient times through the present, this way of seeing individual patients as whole beings, as having both strengths and challenges, has been the hallmark of professional practice. And now is the time to advance patient care through a focus on whole systems approaches.
 
Information about the safety of herbal medicine often comes from case reports published in the medical literature, thus necessitating good quality reporting of these adverse events. The purpose of this study was to perform a systematic review of the comprehensiveness of reporting of published case reports of adverse events associated with herb use in the pediatric population. Electronic literature search included 7 databases and a manual search of retrieved articles from inception through 2010. We included published case reports and case series that reported an adverse event associated with exposure to an herbal product by children under the age of 18 years old. We used descriptive statistics. Based on the International Society of Epidemiology's "Guidelines for Submitting Adverse Events Reports for Publication," we developed and assigned a guideline adherence score (0-17) to each case report. Ninety-six unique journal papers were identified and represented 128 cases. Of the 128 cases, 37% occurred in children under 2 years old, 38% between the ages of 2 and 8 years old, and 23% between the ages of 9 and 18 years old. Twenty-nine percent of cases were the result of an intentional ingestion while 36% were from an unintentional ingestion. Fifty-two percent of cases documented the Latin binomial of the herb ingredients; 41% documented plant part. Thirty-two percent of the cases reported laboratory testing of the herb, 20% documented the manufacturer of the product, and 22% percent included an assessment of the potential concomitant therapies that could have been influential in the adverse events. Mean guideline adherence score was 12.5 (range 6-17). There is considerable need for improvement in reporting adverse events in children following herb use. Without better quality reporting, adverse event reports cannot be interpreted reliably and do not contribute in a meaningful way to guiding recommendations for medicinal herb use.
 
For the safe use of medicinal products, it is important that physicians publish adverse experiences with a medicinal product-particularly regarding side effects-in the scientific literature. However, when searching applicable publications, we determined that adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are often published several months after their occurrence. In the context of patient safety, this is rather questionable as new and important information on ADRs is not available quickly enough to be considered in pharmacovigilance systems. This delay is also not acceptable on the background of the timelines-eg, European Union (EU) legislation requires that marketing authorization holders (MAH) report serious ADRs (SADRs) within 15 calendar days. The legal basis for ADR reporting by physicians and other healthcare professionals is specified in article 102 of the EU Directive 2001/83/ EC as amended (2010/84/EU).
 
Healthy primate mitochondria. Note intact membranes and cristae.  
Primate mitochondria after exposure to extremely high doses of intravenous alpha lipoic acid. Note gross swelling and damage to cristae.  
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA, thioctic acid), among other actions, is an essential coenzyme in the conversion of pyruvate to acetyl co-enzyme A. Therefore, it is necessary for the production of energy for aerobic organisms. Scientists have found that it can be used medically to help regenerate liver tissue, reverse the complications of diabetes mellitus, slow or stop the growth of cancer cells, and chelate heavy metals, among other actions. In this article, the authors describe the cellular mitochondrial damage from excessively high doses of this beneficial agent.
 
Instruments for Outcome Measures
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and coronary heart disease (CHD) are prevalent chronic diseases from which military personnel are not exempt. While many genetic markers for these diseases have been identified, the clinical utility of genetic risk testing for multifactorial diseases such as these has not been established. The need for a behavioral intervention such as health coaching following a risk counseling intervention for T2D or CHD also has not been explored. Here we present the rationale, design, and protocol for evaluating the clinical utility of genetic risk testing and health coaching for active duty US Air Force (AF) retirees and beneficiaries. Determine the direct and interactive effects of health coaching and providing genetic risk information when added to standard risk counseling for CHD and T2D on health behaviors and clinical risk markers. Four-group (2 X 2 factorial) randomized controlled trial. Two AF primary care clinical settings on the west coast of the United States. Adult AF primary care patients. All participants will have a risk counseling visit with a clinic provider to discuss personal risk factors for T2D and CHD. Half of the participants (two groups) will also learn of their genetic risk testing results for T2D and CHD in this risk counseling session. Participants randomized to the two groups receiving health coaching will then receive telephonic health coaching over 6 months. Behavioral measures (self-reported dietary intake, physical activity, smoking cessation, medication adherence); clinical outcomes (AF composite fitness scores, weight, waist circumference, blood pressure, fasting glucose, lipids, T2D/CHD risk scores) and psychosocial measures (self-efficacy, worry, perceived risk) will be collected at baseline and 6 weeks, and 3, 6, and 12 months. This study tests novel strategies deployed within existing AF primary care to increase adherence to evidence-based diet, physical activity, smoking cessation, and medication recommendations for CHD and T2D risk reduction through methods of patient engagement and self-management support.
 
Chronically ill people are frequent users of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Some patients experience great benefits from their use of CAM, like patient "XX" in this case report. XX was diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis in 2004 and has reported a "best case" after the use of Dr Birgitta Brunes' unconventional treatment. The patient reports that many of her symptoms that, according to her neurologist, were irreversible are gone or have been greatly reduced. Such patient-defined "best cases" related to the use of CAM should be further explored to optimize and safeguard patients' treatment decisions and treatment outcomes.
 
Predictors of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Use, Adjusted for Demographic, Disability, and Socioeconomic Factors 
Percentages of the Most Commonly Used Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Modalities by Children Aged 3-17 Years With and Without Neurologic Symptoms Who Reported CAM Use 
Recent literature suggests that one in nine children in the United States uses some type of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Children with challenging neurological conditions such as headache, migraine, and seizures may seek CAM in their attempts at self-care. Our objective was to describe CAM use in children with these conditions. We compared use of CAM among children aged 3 to 17 years with and without common neurological conditions (headaches, migraines, seizures) where CAM might plausibly play a role in their self-management using the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data. Children with common neurological conditions reported significantly more CAM use compared to the children without these conditions (24.0% vs 12.6%, P<.0001). Compared to other pediatric CAM users, children with neurological conditions report similarly high use of biological therapies and significantly higher use of mind-body techniques (38.6% vs 20.5%, P<.007). Of the mind-body techniques, deep breathing (32.5%), meditation (15.1%), and progressive relaxation (10.1%) were used most frequently. About one in four children with common neurological conditions use CAM. The nature of CAM use in this population, as well as its risks and benefits in neurological disease, deserve further investigation.
 
The increasing use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) represents a continuing demand for treatment approaches in parallel with, or as an alternative to, conventional healthcare delivery.(1,2) Some patients report considerable health improvements related to their use of CAM,(3-6) and others report no effect or possibly harm.(7) Limited efforts have been made so far to systematically collect patients' personal experiences with various CAM therapies. Methods to collect "best cases" after the use of CAM in cancer patients have been initiated in the United States and Germany.(5,8,9.)
 
The systematic review is widely accepted as the most reliable and objective method for evaluating the effects of healthcare interventions, including complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies. Systematic reviews use explicit, transparent, and well-documented methods to find, evaluate, and synthesize the best available research studies related to a specific research question. Systematic reviews of healthcare treatment typically have focused on randomized controlled trials (RCTs) because RCTs are widely regarded as the study design providing the most reliable estimates of a healthcare treatment's effects. Systematic reviewers aim to evaluate and appraise relevant RCTs using objective and reproducible methods to provide an unbiased assessment of the evidence for a given therapy. Systematic reviews sometimes include a meta-analysis, the quantitative combining (pooling) of results from similar but separate RCTs to obtain an overall effect estimate.
 
To detect vascular variability anomalies (VVAs), a blood pressure and heart rate profile around the clock for at least 7 days is a start. As a minimum, measurement every 60 or preferably 30 minutes for a week is needed, to be continued if abnormality is found, to assess the about 24-hour (circadian) variability that exists in all individuals. As a first dividend, one then also obtains a glimpse of 2 of the very many longer-than-circadian periodicities, the biological half-week and week. Certainly if we can have sensors and computer chips in our cars that continuously monitor the pressure over a tire's life, we should be able to do the same job for ourselves for diagnostic and therapeutic decisions. Healthcare today emphasizes wellness with recommendations for exercise and a proper diet, yet these evaluations may not be adequate. BP may be measured at a visit to the doctor or before an exercise session, along with measuring body weight and performing a physical exam. The seeds of disease are planted long before they are visible, and what appears to be normal from a conventional point of view may in fact actually be abnormal. Hidden alterations of physiological function, masked by the body's remarkable adaptive capabilities, may become visible through a new diagnostic and therapeutic realm-chronobiology-that reveals hitherto unseen abnormalities. The tools of chronobiology may yield additional dividends, such as the detection of physiological "loads" related to stress and stress relief and the undesirable effcts of space weather upon personal events such as sudden cardiac death, societal events like terrorism and war, and natural disasters. Chronobiologi cally interpreted automatic ambulatory BP and heart rate (HR) monitoring (C-ABPM) may detect the antecedents of these types of events. C-ABPM is of interest in preventive cardiology, since it reveals new diagnoses as vascular variability anomalies (VVAs) and renders previous conventional diagnoses more reliable, such as that of an elevated BP. These VVAs include MESOR (midline-estimating statistic of rhythm)-hypertension, an elevation of the MESOR, which is diagnosed, like all other VVAs, only after I or preferably several replications of 7-day around-the-clock BP monitoring with available, affordable, and unobtrusive instrumentation. The recommendation for continuous C-ABPM recognizes several principles that constitute inseparably intertwined contributors to severe cardio-, cerebro- and renovascular diease. C-ABPM gauges wear and tear of genetics, physical loads, and in particular mental stress placed upon individuals from "womb to tomb" by daily life, including weather in extraterrestrial space as well as that on earth, as a continuous surveillance paradigm preventing us from flying blind to a change from less than 5% to near 100% in the risk of a stroke within 6 years.
 
Medically referred wellness coaching clients may present thinking patterns that generate internal resistance to change, including lack of urgency, inadequate incentives, and uncertainty about what they need to do differently.(1) Applying the Wellcoaches (Wellcoaches Corp, Wellesley, Massachusetts) model interventions within a framework of the four domains of learning (cognitive, affective, behavioral, and conative)2 can enhance wellness coaching outcomes. This case report reviews wellness coaching outcomes with a 44-year-old single male tribal member of a Midwest Native American tribe who recently had been diagnosed with diabetes. Challenges presented by resistance to change and a discussion of the four domains of learning applied to wellness coaching are also reported.
 
Anthroposophic medicine is a physician-provided complementary therapy system that was founded by Rudolf Steiner and Ita Wegman. Anthroposophic therapy includes special medicinal products, artistic therapies, eurythmy movement exercises, and special physical therapies. The Anthroposophic Medicine Outcomes Study (AMOS) was a prospective observational multicenter study of 1631 outpatients starting anthroposophic therapy for anxiety disorders, asthma, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, low back pain, migraine, and other chronic indications under routine conditions in Germany. AMOS incorporated two features proposed for the evaluation of integrative therapy systems: (1) a sequential approach, starting with the whole therapy system (use, safety, outcomes, perceived benefit), addressing comparative effectiveness and proceeding to the major system components (physician counseling, anthroposophic medicinal products, art therapy, eurythmy therapy, rhythmical massage therapy) and (2) a mix of different research methods to build an information synthesis, including pre-post analyses, prospective comparative analyses, economic analyses, and safety analyses of individual patient data. AMOS fostered two methodological innovations for the analysis of single-arm therapy studies (combined bias suppression, systematic outcome comparison with corresponding cohorts in other studies) and the first depression cost analysis worldwide comparing primary care patients treated for depression vs depressed patients treated for another disorder vs nondepressed patients. A total of 21 peer-reviewed publications from AMOS have resulted. This article provides an overview of the main research questions, methods, and findings from these publications: anthroposophic treatment was safe and was associated with clinically relevant improvements in symptoms and quality of life without cost increase; improvements were found in all age, diagnosis, and therapy modality groups and were retained at 48-month follow-up; nonrespondent bias, natural recovery, regression to the mean, and adjunctive therapies together could explain a maximum of 37% of the improvement.
 
Nursing packs. Source: Jürg Buess, Hiscia; reprinted with permission.  
Eurythmy therapy. Source: Professional Association for Eurythmy Therapy; reprinted with permission.  
Anthroposophic medicine is an integrative multimodal treatment system based on a holistic understanding of man and nature and of disease and treatment. It builds on a concept of four levels of formative forces and on the model of a three-fold human constitution. Anthroposophic medicine is integrated with conventional medicine in large hospitals and medical practices. It applies medicines derived from plants, minerals, and animals; art therapy, eurythmy therapy, and rhythmical massage; counseling; psychotherapy; and specific nursing techniques such as external embrocation. Anthroposophic healthcare is provided by medical doctors, therapists, and nurses. A Health-Technology Assessment Report and its recent update identified 265 clinical studies on the efficacy and effectiveness of anthroposophic medicine. The outcomes were described as predominantly positive. These studies as well as a variety of specific safety studies found no major risk but good tolerability. Economic analyses found a favorable cost structure. Patients report high satisfaction with anthroposophic healthcare.
 
Medication and Symptom Chart for Patients A and B a 
Medication Dosing for Patient B a 
Asthma is one of the most common causes of office visits in the primary care and emergency care settings. Individuals are often able to maintain symptomatic control with long-term pharmacological therapy. Exacerbations of asthma commonly occur due to exposure to triggers such as viruses, pollutants, and allergens. While it is widely accepted that exposure to immunoglobulin E food allergens can exacerbate asthma symptoms, there is little evidence examining delayed immunoglobulin G-mediated reactions to food. Here we present two clinical cases of individuals who experienced a reduction in asthma symptoms, decreased dependence on pharmacological therapies, and increased quality of life by eliminating foods that demonstrated reactivity to immunoglobulin G levels identified through serum testing.
 
"Kate" is a thin, attractive 50-year-old perimenopausal woman who considers herself "basically healthy" but feels she needs help with stress management in her life. She is educated, married, and the mother of 4 children ranging in age from 11 to 22 years. In addition to managing her household, she has a full-time job as an administrative assistant and also works a part-time job from home. She states she needs to do this so the family can "get back on our feet" as her husband was unemployed for a number of months and they currently have 2 children in college. In addition, they relocated a year ago to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for her husband's job and now have a higher mortgage payment. "Family" is Kate's top priority, but she does not receive much assistance from her husband on the home front and feels "there is not enough time in a day."
 
A retrospective chart review analyzed the effect of customized nutrition on the incidence of pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH), gestational diabetes (GDM), and small- and large-for-gestational-age (SGA, LGA) neonates, examining consecutive deliveries between January 1, 2011, and Decem ber 31, 2012, at a low-risk community hospital. The population was divided into 3 groups: (1) study group (SG), (2) private practice (PP), and (3) community healthcare clinic (CHCC). All groups received standard perinatal management, but additionally the study group was analyzed for serum zinc, carnitine, total 25-hydroxy cholecalciferol (25 OH-D), methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase, and catechol-O-methyl transferase polymorphisms in the first trimester prior to intervention, with subsequent second trimester and postpartum assessment of zinc, carnitine, and 25 OH-D after intervention. Intervention consisted of trimesterby-trimester nutrition and lifestyle education, supplementation of L-methyl folate, magnesium, essential fatty acids, and probiotics for all SG patients, with targeted supplementation of zinc, carnitine, and 25 OH-D. Because of small case occurrence rates of individual conditions in the study group, unreportable reductions were found, except GDM (SG vs CHCC, P value .046 with 95.38% confidence interval [CI]), and PIH (SG vs PP, P value .0505 with 94.95% CIl). The aggregated occurrence rate of the four conditions, however, was significantly lower in the study population than in either comparison population (PP P value .0154 with 98.46% CI, and CHCC P value .0265 with 97.35% CI). Customized nutritional intervention appears to have significantly reduced adverse perinatal outcomes. Prospective study within larger, at-risk populations is needed to determine whether customized nutrition improves conditions individually.
 
As rates of preventable chronic diseases and associated costs continue to rise, there has been increasing focus on strategies to support behavior change in healthcare. Health coaching and motivational interviewing are synergistic but distinct approaches that can be effectively employed to achieve this end. However, there is some confusion in the literature about the relationship between these two approaches. The purpose of this review is to describe a specific style of health coaching-integrative health coaching-and motivational interviewing, including their origins, the processes and strategies employed, and the ways in which they are similar and different. We also provide a case example of how integrative health coaching and motivational interviewing might be employed to demonstrate how these approaches are synergistic but distinct from each other in practice. This information may be useful for both researchers and clinicians interested in investigating or using behavior change interventions to improve health and cost outcomes in chronic disease.
 
The globalization of healing systems is a dance of cultural awareness and cultural dominance that has arisen throughout history. With the development of greater communication and interest in whole-systems approaches to healing, the opportunity for the development of a global perspective on healing has emerged with new life force. The birth of integrative holistic healing systems in the West, such as naturopathic, homeopathic, anthroposophic, integral and functional medicine, and others, echoes the ocean of wisdom present in traditional healing systems, such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda. In working to integrate the lessons from these systems, we see the inextricable link between man and the natural world, we work to understand the root cause of disease, we focus on the whole person to return balance, and we use empiric observation in large populations over time to grasp the interrelationships inherent in the whole-systems view of illness and wellness.
 
Characteristics of BIRCWH Scholars 
Application-based NIH Competitive Grant Application and Success Rates for All BIRCWH Scholars Who Completed Training by Sex and Grant Type 
Average Time to Funding for All BIRCWH Scholars Who Completed Training by Terminal Degree, y 
The Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) program is a mentored institutional research career development program developed to support and foster the interdisciplinary research careers of men and women junior faculty in women's health and sex/gender factors. The number of scholars who apply for and receive National Institutes of Health (NIH) research or career development grants is one proximate indicator of whether the BIRCWH program is being successful in achieving its goals. To present descriptive data on one metric of scholar performance-NIH grant application and funding rates. Grant applications were counted if the start date was 12 months or more after the scholar's BIRCWH start date. Two types of measures were used for the outcome of interest-person-based funding rates and application-based success rates. Grant application, person funding, and application success rates. Four hundred and ninety-three scholars had participated in BIRCWH as of November 1, 2012. Seventy-nine percent of BIRCWH scholars who completed training had applied for at least one competitive NIH grant, and 64% of those who applied had received at least one grant award. Approximately 68% of completed scholars applied for at least one research grant, and about half of those who applied were successful in obtaining at least one research award. Men and women had similar person funding rates, but women had higher application success rates for RoI grants. Data were calculated for all scholars across a series of years; many variables can influence person funding and application success rates beyond the BIRCWH program; and lack of an appropriate comparison group is another substantial limitation to this analysis. Our results suggest that the BIRCWH program has been successful in bridging advanced training with establishing independent research careers for scholars.
 
Arnica montana, belonging to the Compositae family, is a plant with a longstanding tradition of relieving pain and/or inflammation in muscles and joints and may thus represent an alternative to nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, which are often ineffective or lead to a number of adverse effects. A homeopathic arnica patch (3X dilution according to the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States) was developed to alleviate pain symptoms in the back and neck muscles and joints. The present case report describes the treatment outcome after administration of the arnica patch in a 55-year-old female patient with pain in the right hand and numbness in the fourth finger after cellulitis in the palmar area. The cellulitis was treated with antibiotics, but pain symptoms remained at 7 points on a 0-to-10-point visual analog scale (VAS) for pain despite intake of oral ibuprofen and oral and topical application of an arnica-containing complex homeopathic ointment. Ten arnica patches were dispensed to the patient. She cut the patch into strips to cover all painful areas of the hand and applied them at night. After 3 days, she reported a substantial decrease in pain symptoms (VAS = 1) and a marked decrease in numbness and in the size of a tender nodule on the third metacarpal area. Moreover, the patient was able to sleep through the night without being awakened by the pain. The symptoms declined further during the next 2 days. This case demonstrates that after a relatively short period of time, the administration of the arnica patch on the hand provided a marked reduction of pain and recovery of functionality of the hand.
 
It is remarkable that only a few years ago, discussions about women's health research often had to be prefaced with the expanded vision of what that concept should actually be in totality as the traditional approach to the health of women had focused on the reproductive system or "bikini medicine," as Dr Marianne Legato, an internationally recognized specialist in women's health, and others have characterized it. Today, there is an almost universal appreciation of the broader perception of women's health and that research on women includes not just clinical trials but also basic investigation from the molecular level of genes to the many aspects of behavioral and societal influences. This evolution over the past 25 years of what should and does constitute women's health research has been important in influencing the design of biomedical and behavioral research studies and in elucidating factors now implicit in diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to both males and females.(1) And examples of advances from research providing the foundation for public health policies and legislative initiatives only strengthen the understanding of the value of these efforts.(2.)
 
Blood Pressure and Questionnaire Parameters
Although eurythmy therapy (ET) has been used in the context of anthroposophic medicine (AM) for the treatment of, among other conditions, arterial hypertension (AH) for more than 80 years, there are as yet no studies on its effectiveness on disease entity. However, it has been shown that ET can increase heart rate variability comparably to ergometer training. To determine whether a 10-week course of ET has an impact on AH and if so, to determine the strength of the effect. The impact of ET on state-autonomic regulation, self-regulation, internal coherence, and quality of life is also explored. Consecutive inclusion of 9 subjects (6 female, 3 male, mean age of 64 years, SD 8.26) with AH diagnosed by their general practitioners. Inclusion criteria: no or unchanged antihypertensive medication from 4 weeks prior to the start of the study until the end of the study. ET was carried out with weekly instruction along with a daily, home-based program for 10 weeks with specific exercises. Twenty-four-hour blood pressure (BP) measuring was carried out, and the questionnaires were administered before and after the intervention. In addition, after a further 6 months during which 8 of the 9 patients carried on with the exercises of their own accord, the aforementioned parameters were assessed for a third time. Parameters of the 24-hour BP measurements show a moderate, but not significant, improvement immediately after the intervention and 6 months after the intervention. After the 10-week intervention, we saw an improvement of the State-autonomic Regulation questionnaire, the subscale on "Rest/Activity regulation," of the Self-regulation questionnaire, and the subscale "Initiative and Interest" of the Herdecke Quality of Life Questionnaire (HLQ) (all P < .045). After the 6-month post-study observation period, the aforementioned parameters improved further still, and an additional, significant improvement was seen for the Trait-autonomic Regulation subscale "Rest/Activity regulation," the HLQ-sum score, and the HLQ subscales "social interaction," "mental balance," and "physical ability." A 10-week course of ET does not result in a significant improvement in BP. The average BP measurements improved post-intervention by an absolute 3.2/2.0 mmHg and after 6 months of independent continuation of ET by 6.3/4.4 mmHg (systolic/diastolic). Despite the small group size, the regulation and quality-of-life parameters improved significantly after the intervention and further still after the 6-month observation period. The results need to be validated with larger patient collectives and control groups.
 
Autoimmune diseases (ADs) are chronic, often debilitating and potentially life-threatening conditions that collectively affect up to 23.5 million Americans, and their incidence is rising.(1) They are heterogeneous in pathology but share common etiopathogenic factors such as intestinal hyperpermeability.(2) Although up to 100 ADs have been identified, there are likely more.(1) Genetics plays a clear role in the predisposition for the development and phenotype of AD, but various combinations of factors, such as toxins, endogenous hormone imbalances, microbes (including of GI origin), infections, stress and food antigens, are involved in disease expression.(2-5) Standard treatments include NSAIDs, steroids, antineoplastic agents and tumor necrosis factor-alpha antagonists. These tools have potentially devastating side effects and are often applied regardless of the diagnosis. Frequently, they are only modestly effective in relieving symptoms and limiting the advancing disease process. Direct health-care costs of AD are estimated at around 100 billion dollars per year in the United States. By comparison, cancer care costs about 57 billion dollars per year.(1) The rising incidence of this debilitating and costly group of conditions dictates that safe, alternative approaches to treatment be considered now.
 
Top-cited authors
Kerry Haynes
  • South Texas VA
Harold Koenig
  • Duke University Medical Center
Michelle J Pearce
  • Duke University
Aviad Haramati
  • Georgetown University
Peter Wayne
  • Harvard Medical School