The Outcomes Database is a dedicated research tool that provides a structured search system for identifying outcome measures of particular importance to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and integrative health care/integrative medicine (IHC/IM) effectiveness and efficacy research. It was developed by the Canadian Chapter of ISCMR (IN-CAM), and is available to all ISCMR members.
The Database Goals
1. Develop and maintain a database of outcome measures of particular importance to CAM and IHC/IM effectiveness and efficacy research.
2. To facilitate access to outcome measures by providing practical information within a whole person perspective
3. Through the Framework of Health Outcome Domains, to assist researchers and practitioners in framing their approach (research or clinical) within a whole person perspective.
Scope of the Database
Our goal was to create a database of outcome measures that are relevant to CAM and IHC/IM research. In addition, through the Framework of Health Outcome Domains, we aimed to conceptually organize the outcome measures to reflect a whole person perspective. The inclusion criteria we used to determine which outcome measures where appropriate for the database and the purpose of the project are:
The outcome measure:
- is valid and reliable and the article on psychometric properties is available on-line/electronically
- fits into at least one of the framework domains
- can be used in effectiveness or efficacy research
- is not a survey of CAM use
- is available in English
Given the complexity of collecting and presenting data on such a diverse range and vast number of suitable outcome measures, and limited resources, the scope of the database has limitations. First, we anticipate that not all relevant or applicable outcome measures are listed in the database; it is a work in progress and the identification of relevant outcome measures and related information is an on-going process. Second, instead of providing a psychometric assessment or rating of each outcome measure, we provide a list of relevant psychometric references so the user can make their own assessment as to the suitability of the outcome measure for their purposes. However, to help in this assessment, we provide information on Attributes of a good outcome measure in a dedicated webpage as well as in our Glossary.
We intend this database project to be as interactive as possible; therefore, we invite users to suggest outcome measures that may not (yet) be included in the Database. You may also provide your own rating of the outcome measure and post any comments or feedback based on your experience of using or applying it within a research or clinical context.