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December 2, 1992

Alternative Therapies Study Moves Into New Phase

JAMA. 1992;268(21):3040. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490210014005

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EVALUATION of alternative medical practices is ready to proceed at the National Institutes of Health, says Stephen C. Groft, PharmD.

Groft is acting director of the National Institutes of Health's Office for the Study of Unconventional Medical Practices in Bethesda, Md (JAMA. 1992;268: 957-958). Based on two meetings to date, he is preparing a report—to be completed in January or February—that will constitute his office's research agenda.

Speaking after the fall meeting, Groft predicted that "information and data generated from these evaluations will be useful to the scientific and medical communities as well as the general public." Practices that will be looked into include nutritional and life-style modifications, counseling and prayer therapies, hands-on healing, and acupuncture, homeopathy, and traditional oriental medicine, among others.

Permanent Appointments  A permanent director will be appointed soon and a permanent advisory committee created. The two meetings so far have been with ad hoc advisory groups.