The Importance of Research on Health and Well-Being
As I’ve dived into my role as Director at NCCIH, one of the things that’s made me so energized about the position is the smart, pragmatic thinking embedded within the Strategic Plan NCCIH adopted in 2016. It’s a twofold cogent recognition of: 1) the very real challenges faced daily by patients and their health care providers, and 2) the opportunities the research community has to offer much-needed evidence to inform decisions about patient care. Especially important is our third strategic plan objective, which focuses on how we can explore the potential of complementary health approaches to foster health promotion and disease prevention across the lifespan.
Why is this part of NCCIH’s strategic plan so important? Since the beginning of the 20th century, modern medicine and biomedical research have overwhelmingly focused on the study and treatment of disease. In contrast, health—and especially the return to health after an illness—has received comparatively little attention.