Medicine & Dentistry-Pediatrics
University of Alberta
MD MSc FRCPC FCAHS
Summary of research:
Dr. Vohra and the CARE Program study complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in children broadly. To study efficacy, we conduct systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials. Since there are thousands of CAM products and practices, each with multiple potential uses, we are interested in methodological approaches to identify which therapies warrant further investigation. For example, CARE has developed expertise in N-of-1 trials and a pediatric extension the US National Cancer Institute's Best Case Series. To study safety, we conduct systematic reviews and have initiated a novel research program utilizing active surveillance to assess the safety of the most popular complementary therapies (natural health products and spinal manipulation). CARE actively pursues clinical research to identify therapies with clinical effects (beneficial or deleterious), and partners with basic science colleagues to investigate mechanism action, since translational research in this field can be bedside-to-bench, not only bench-to-bedside. CARE supports health services research, including examination of the legal and ethical aspects of complementary therapies in children. Finally, to support effective knowledge translation, CARE has a series of initiatives including a national pediatric CAM research network (www.pedcam.ca), a continuing series in the AAP journal Pediatrics in Review, etc. - each initiative has been designed to optimize KT for specific stakeholders in this new and growing field.