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​Integrative Medicine Research and Clinical Trials

The Center for Integrative Medicine is conducting three research studies funded by the National Institutes of Health:

  • Acupuncture and Insomnia
  • Chiropractic and Medical Care for Low Back Pain
  • Supportive Counseling and Mind-Body Skills Training for Individuals With Lupus

Acupuncture and Insomnia

Acupuncture has shown benefit for the treatment of insomnia in studies published in the literature of traditional Chinese medicine. This clinical trial will subject this approach to more rigorous design methods.

What we'll study The effects of acupuncture for individuals with insomnia. 
Who can participate

You may be eligible to participate in the study if you are:

  • Between 18 and 60 years old
  • Currently experiencing insomnia
  • English-speaking
How we'll conduct the study

Participants will receive:

  • Acupuncture
  • Compensation for parking and time
Where we'll conduct the study The UPMC Center for Integrative Medicine, located next to UPMC Shadyside.
Who to contact If you’re interested in participating in this research study, or want to learn more, please call our research line at 412-623-2374.

Chiropractic and Medical Care for Low Back Pain

Previous research has shown clinical benefit for low back pain using the standard type of manual spinal manipulation, mostly performed by chiropractors, physical therapists, and osteopathic physicians. However, there has not been as much conclusive research about the second most common method of spinal manipulation, which involves the use of a mechanical device.

What we'll study
  • The effects of the two most common methods of spinal manipulation — manual and mechanical — for individuals with low back pain.
  • The clinical effectiveness of these two methods of manipulation compared to standard medical care.
Who can participate

You may be eligible to participate in the study if you are:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Currently experiencing low back pain
  • Fluent in English
  • Not pregnant
How we'll conduct the study

Participants will receive either:

  • One of two different kinds of chiropractic treatment (manual or mechanical spinal manipulation)
  • Standard medical care

We will provide:

  • Free treatment
  • Compensation
Where we'll conduct the study The UPMC Center for Integrative Medicine, located next to UPMC Shadyside.
Who to contact If you’re interested in participating in this research study, or want to learn more, please call 412-623-1714.

Supportive Counseling and Mind-Body Skills Training for Individuals With Lupus

Both supportive counseling and mind-body skills training may be helpful for decreasing distress and improving health-related quality of life in individuals with low mood and chronic (long lasting or recurrent) illness. However, they have not been studied to determine whether they are effective for depression symptoms in individuals with lupus.

What we'll study The potential benefit of supportive counseling and mind-body skills training in improving depressive symptoms for individuals with lupus.
Who can participate

You may be eligible to participate in the study if you have lupus and are:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Taking no more than 15 mg of prednisone per day
How we'll conduct the study

Participants will:

  • Receive a medical evaluation of their lupus at no charge
  • Complete questionnaires and a brief interview about their health
  • Receive 8 weekly sessions of either supportive counseling or mind-body skills training, if eligible for the study after their evaluations

In supportive counseling:

  • Participants will discuss topics that are important to them
  • A health professional will provide emotional support by being a good listener

Mind-body skills training includes:

  • Cognitive therapy techniques
  • Mind-body relaxation skills
  • Mindfulness training
Where we'll conduct the study Either the UPMC Center for Integrative Medicine or the Montefiore Clinical and Translational Research Center.
Who to contact
  • If you have lupus, ask your doctor about the "Feel My Best" study — a mind-body approach for managing mood symptoms.
  • If you want more information about this research study, please call our research line at 412-623-2374.

About Our Research

The UPMC Center for Integrative Medicine is dedicated to increasing knowledge about the effectiveness and safety of complementary and integrative medicine approaches.

Other integrative medicine modalities may not have been subjected to the same level of scientific inquiry as western medicine treatments. The Center for Integrative Medicine, in concert with the University of Pittsburgh, is actively pursuing research to investigate the benefits of these therapies.

In addition to our investigations listed above, our areas of research — ongoing or in development — include mind-body approaches, such as meditation.

These studies, and the research mission of the center, are supported by:

  • Local pilot funds
  • The National Institutes of Health
  • Philanthropic donations

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