Osher Center Research Program Receives Two NIH R-34 Grants

The Research program at UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine was recently awarded two R-34 grants from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). R-34 grants provide support for the initial development of a clinical trial or research project, and often provide the critical initial date to undertake a more extensive study.

The Osher Center’s Director of Research, Rick Hecht, MD, received an R-34 to investigate how we can measure the skills of instructors of mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). MBIs have been found to be effective in a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, substance use disorders, anxiety and depression. These interventions are thought to depend on teacher skill, but we don’t have established approaches to assess teacher skill, nor do we have a good idea of which skills really matter.  This project will advance our understanding of how to measure teacher skills and potentially add a critical tool for future research on mindfulness-based interventions.

This project will be an international collaborative effort, in conjunction with investigators at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts, as well as the Oxford Mindfulness Centre in England and the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice at Bangor University in Wales.

bio_dhruvaThe Osher Center’s Director of the Clinical Fellowship in Integrative Medicine, Anand Dhruva, MD, also received an R-34 grant for his Integrative Approaches to Cancer Survivorship study, which is developing and testing individualized approaches for patients who are recovering from breast cancer treatment. The period after the completion of treatment for cancer can represent a void in care for patients and is a time filed with questions about their current and future health. In this study, participants will meet one-on-one with an integrative clinician or health educator in order to get support in making long-term lifestyle decisions around common survivorship issues.

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