When faced with making a health-related decision, like how to treat an illness or injury, you need sound scientific evidence to help you weigh the alternatives. The trouble is, most research studies don’t do side-by-side comparisons. They focus on one option at a time, measuring whether it works in an ideal clinical setting rather than in typical conditions.
At the Institute for Integrative Health, we’re working to make study findings more relevant by advancing an approach known as Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER). Examining large, diverse populations, CER studies compare two or more options to identify which work, for whom, and in what circumstances. They produce scientific evidence that applies to the real world, enabling patients and health professionals to make more informed decisions.