Mapping the Field of Integrative Medicine

Early in 2001, Bravewell Collaborative members recognized that in order to advance integrative medicine, they needed to identify, confirm and document the existing landscape of the field. As a result, the Collaborative, in partnership with Clohesy Consulting, undertook a mapping study to develop a broad understanding of the forces at work in the emergence of integrative medicine.

The first mapping project:

  • Identified key activities, leadership and resources in integrative medicine;
  • Identified obstacles to incorporating integrative approaches into mainstream healthcare;
  • Identified what is changing in the societal shift towards integrative medicine;
  • Provided information for communicating the story of integrative medicine to the public; and
  • Helped guide the ongoing work of the Collaborative by helping focus its efforts toward maximum impact.

In 2004, a second phase of the mapping project was completed. 

This phase developed data on how and why integrative approaches gain standing in their respective organizations, which elements of integrative medicine are applied, and how integration occurs.  It also gathered information on financial viability and clinical outcomes.  The study was conducted in four areas: community hospitals, spas, hospice centers, and pediatrics.

The third phase of the mapping project, an examination of access to integrated medicine, was completed in 2006. The key questions answered by this study were:

  • To what extent does the design of benefits in consumer-directed insurance plans encourage or hinder access to integrative medicine?
  • How do Web-based education programs treat integrative medicine services?
  • How do consumers with various characteristics value integrative medicine services?
  • How do providers of integrative medicine services structure their marketing efforts?
  • What steps can consumers, employers, providers and insurers take to enhance coverage under consumer-directed plans?

The Mapping Project Reports are available to philanthropists, healthcare practitioners and administrators, and other interested parties free of charge.