Here is the challenge we set our partners working in the area of integrated health.
The projects are working in one of the following ways:
Integrating mainstream complementary and conventional approaches to health
The integration of mainstream complementary therapies and conventional approaches to health may have the potential to improve health outcomes. Our projects seek to understand and quantify the effects that integrated approaches might have on health – specifically, the degree to which patients subsequently adopt health-improving behaviours and/or change their use of health services. In other words, does access to both complementary and conventional options encourage self-care?
Integrating traditional and conventional approaches to health
Traditional approaches to health are part of a community's resources to support health. They are often deeply rooted in people's personal experience and cultural context, reflecting how people and their communities make sense of health and illness, and indicating what they require in terms of treatment and support. Often, however, primary care practitioners are not aware of these approaches, and patients may be reluctant to discuss them.
We believe that awareness of traditional approaches could inform NHS consultations (particularly in primary care) and be part of establishing a more integrated approach to health. We have funded projects that explore the impact that integrating traditional and conventional approaches might have on subsequent health care decisions at an individual and institutional level.