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Objectives and Strategies

Each of the five objectives in NCCIH’s current strategic plan includes two or more strategies for achieving it. These objectives and strategies are the focus of NCCIH’s research and communications efforts.

Objective 1:

Advance fundamental science and methods development.


  1. Advance understanding of basic biological mechanisms of action of natural products, including prebiotics and probiotics.
  2. Advance understanding of the mechanisms through which mind and body approaches affect health, resiliency, and well-being.
  3. Develop new and improved research methods and tools for conducting rigorous studies of complementary health approaches and their integration into health care.

Objective 2:

Improve care for hard-to-manage symptoms.


  1. Develop and improve complementary health approaches and integrative treatment strategies for managing symptoms such as pain, anxiety, and depression.
  2. Conduct studies in “real world” clinical settings to test the safety and efficacy of complementary health approaches, including their integration into health care.

Objective 3:

Foster health promotion and disease prevention.


  1. Investigate mechanisms of action of complementary and integrative health approaches in health resilience and practices that improve health and prevent disease.
  2. Study complementary health approaches to promote health and wellness across the lifespan in diverse populations.
  3. Explore research opportunities to study and assess the safety and efficacy of complementary health approaches in nonclinical settings such as community- and employer-based wellness programs.

Objective 4:

Enhance the complementary and integrative health research workforce.


  1. Support research training and career development opportunities to increase the number and quality of scientists trained to conduct rigorous, cutting-edge research on complementary and integrative health practices.
  2. Foster interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships.

Objective 5:

Disseminate objective evidence-based information on complementary and integrative health interventions.


  1. Disseminate evidence-based information on complementary and integrative health approaches.
  2. Develop methods and approaches to enhance public understanding of basic scientific concepts and biomedical research.