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Integrative Medicine has Positive Impact on Patient Activation, Chronic Pain, Depression

NEW YORK, May 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Integrative medicine interventions lead to significant improvements in patient activation and patient-reported outcomes for chronic pain, depression, and stress, according to a new report released by The Bravewell Collaborative. The findings are based on data collected by the Patients Receiving Integrative Medicine Interventions Effectiveness Registry (PRIMIER), the first-ever patient registry on integrative medicine.

Using data from PRIMIER, researchers found that the use of integrative medicine yielded an increase in the Patient Activation Measure (PAM), which assesses to what degree patients believe they have the knowledge, skill, and confidence to take action to improve their health, and whether they are likely to maintain positive self-care actions over time. Over six months, the percentage of patients with low levels of patient activation decreased from 29% to 17%, while those with higher levels of activation increased from 71% to 83%. Previous research has found that higher scores on the PAM are strongly related to improvements in clinical outcomes such as less pain, an increase in utilization of prevention screenings, and a reduction in emergency room visits.

After reviewing the prospective data from 369 patients over six months, researchers also found significant reductions in patients' perception of depression and stress. In 179 of these patients who were being treated for chronic pain, researchers also found statistically significant decreases in pain severity and a 28% decrease in the degree to which pain interfered with quality of life.

PRIMIER is the first nationwide database of its kind. It helps evaluate patient-reported outcomes over time for patients who supplement conventional medical care with other therapies such as acupuncture, yoga, chiropractic and biofeedback. Developed and managed by BraveNet, a practice-based research network comprised of 14 integrative medicine centers based at the nation's leading hospitals and medical centers, the registry has enrolled more than 1,600 patients.

Researchers or medical centers interested in joining PRIMIER or requesting permission to access the database should contact the BraveNet coordinating center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University at

About the Bravewell Collaborative
Formed in 2002, The Bravewell Collaborative is a community of philanthropists in the United States dedicated to bringing about optimal health and healing for individuals and society. For more information about The Bravewell Collaborative, please visit

SOURCE Bravewell Collaborative
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