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Selected Research Results by Date

Research spotlights of selected studies are shown below. For a full list of published NCCIH Research to-date, see PubMed.

Spotlights for 2022

Physician talking to patient in office

National Survey Data Show an Increase in the Percentage of Physician Office Visits That Include Complementary Health Approaches Between 2005 and 2015
The percentage of office visits at which physicians provided or recommended complementary health approaches more than tripled between 2005 and 2015, according to a new analysis of data from the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS). The analysis, which was performed by investigators from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health and published in a recent issue of the Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine, also showed that visits that included complementary health primarily involved patients who were age 45 or older, female, non-Hispanic white, and covered by public or private health insurance.

May 2022

Physician and patient talking

Reasons Physicians Recommend or Don’t Recommend Common Complementary Health Approaches to Patients

A new analysis suggests that physicians use a combination of personal experience and scientific evidence when deciding whether to recommend complementary health approaches. The findings also suggest that physicians who recommend these approaches may have some degree of trust in the opinions of both their peers and patients regarding these approaches. Recently published in Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine, the analysis was led by researchers at the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and National Center for Health Statistics and partly funded by NCCIH.

May 2022

People around a table looking at papers

Researchers Identify Best Data Source for Monitoring Chronic Pain Among Adults in the United States

According to a new review published in the Journal of Pain, the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is the best single surveillance source for monitoring chronic pain data in the United States. The NHIS is an annual interview survey that collects household health data representing the U.S. civilian, noninstitutionalized population. The review was conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH); Kaiser Permanente Washington, Health Research Institute; Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education; the Office of Pain Policy, National Institutes of Health; and Stanford University School of Medicine.

April 2022

Pregnant woman

New Analysis Shows Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Relationship Between Pregnancy and High-Impact Pain

Non-Hispanic White women in the United States are less likely to have high-impact pain when they’re pregnant than at other times in their lives, but this pattern is not seen in non-Hispanic Black or Hispanic White women, according to a new analysis of national survey data. The analysis, published in the Journal of Women’s Health, was performed by researchers from the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Research on Women’s Health and National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

February 2022

woman in pain

Acute Pain Tolerance Is More Consistent Over Time in Women Than Men, According to New Research

Many researchers exclude women from pain studies because they assume that hormonal changes in women lead to more variability over time and less reliability in ratings of pain. New research, however, shows that women have higher test-retest reliability (a measure of consistency across measurements) on thermal pain measures than men, disproving the assumption used to justify including only men in pain research. The new study, published in the Journal of Pain, was partially funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and led by NCCIH researchers.

February 2022

illustration of person with abdominal pain

New Research Shows Changes in Brain Connectivity in Youth With Functional Abdominal Pain Disorders

Youth with functional abdominal pain disorders (FAPDs) have distinctive patterns of brain connectivity that could support the development of biomarkers and inform new treatment approaches, according to a study by researchers from Michigan State University and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The study, which was partially funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, was published in the journal Pain.

January 2022