Despite the increasing popularity and use of complementary practice, it is difficult to assess its effectiveness. Lack of research – and lack of agreement on research methods – has led to criticism from branches of conventional medicine.
The King’s Fund set up an advisory group, chaired by Professor Dame Carol Black, to consider how to develop and apply a robust evidence base for complementary practice. The group drew on the experience of a wide range of academics, researchers, practitioners and funders, much of it shared in a two-day participative conference.
This report of the group’s deliberations points out that complementary practice presents researchers with a unique set of challenges: