S15: What Can CER Contribute to Integrative Health? – An International Perspective

Brian Berman1, Suzanne Grant2, Michael Lauer3, Sean Tunis4, Claudia Witt5

1University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA; 2University of Western Sydney, Australia; 3Division of Cardiovascular Sciences at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA; 4Center for Medical Technology Policy, Baltimore, USA; 5Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité University Medical Center, Berlin, Germany


CER is an evolving field in conventional medicine, which is highly relevant to Integrative Medicine. To date, funding strategies of the National Institutes of Health have focused mainly on mechanism and efficacy studies - could this change and why?

In CER, the stakeholders involved play an important role. Patients, clinicians, health insurers etc., have to be involved in identifying research questions, designing the studies and interpreting the results. Their needs will help to shape the study questions and the design so that the stakeholders are provided with useful information to make informed decisions.

There seems to be some reluctance when it comes to complementing CER with health economics evaluations in the USA, although the setting would be perfect for doing so. On the contrary, other countries have shown that the discussion on the “value for money” has a relevant place within CER and the field of Integrative Medicine

Designing CER involves conscious and extremely demanding decision-making for the sake of greater generalizability and feasibility. It is a matter of balancing each aspect within the efficacy-effectiveness -continuum, as well as balancing the internal and external validity in a useful way. Examples from the United Kingdom and Germany will provide insights into how the results of CER could be valued differently, depending on the country.

A series of impulse lectures will be used to introduce different aspects in order to provide a broader basis for discussion with the audience and give a wider international perspective on the topic of CER.