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1.  Physician Perspectives on Comparative Effectiveness Research: Implications for Practice-based Evidence 
Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is defined by the Institute of Medicine as “the generation and synthesis of evidence that compares the benefits and harms of alternative methods to prevent, diagnose, treat, and monitor a clinical condition or to improve the delivery of care.” The goal of CER is to provide timely, useful evidence to healthcare decision makers including physicians, patients, policymakers, and payers. A prime focus for the use of CER evidence is the interaction between physician and patient. Physicians in primary practice are critical to the success of the CER enterprise. A 2009 survey suggests, however, that physician attitudes toward CER may be mixed—somewhat positive toward the potential for patient care improvement, yet negative toward potential restriction on physician freedom of practice. CER methods and goals closely parallel those of practice-based research, an important movement in family medicine in the United States since the 1970s. This article addresses apparent physician ambivalence toward CER and makes a case for family medicine engagement in CER to produce useful practice-based evidence. Such an effort has potential to expand care options through personalized medicine, individualized guidelines, focus on patient preferences and patient-reported outcomes, and study of complex therapeutic interventions, such as integrative care. Academic medical researchers will need to collaborate with experienced family physicians to identify significant practice-based research questions and design meaningful studies. Such collaborations would shape CER to produce high-quality practice-based evidence to inform family and community medicine.
doi:10.7453/gahmj.2012.1.4.004
PMCID: PMC3833509  PMID: 24278829
Comparative effectiveness research; practice-based evidence; complementary and alternative medicine; patient-reported outcomes
2.  Effectiveness guidance document (EGD) for acupuncture research - a consensus document for conducting trials 
Background
There is a need for more Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) to strengthen the evidence base for clinical and policy decision-making. Effectiveness Guidance Documents (EGD) are targeted to clinical researchers. The aim of this EGD is to provide specific recommendations for the design of prospective acupuncture studies to support optimal use of resources for generating evidence that will inform stakeholder decision-making.
Methods
Document development based on multiple systematic consensus procedures (written Delphi rounds, interactive consensus workshop, international expert review). To balance aspects of internal and external validity, multiple stakeholders including patients, clinicians and payers were involved.
Results
Recommendations focused mainly on randomized studies and were developed for the following areas: overall research strategy, treatment protocol, expertise and setting, outcomes, study design and statistical analyses, economic evaluation, and publication.
Conclusion
The present EGD, based on an international consensus developed with multiple stakeholder involvement, provides the first systematic methodological guidance for future CER on acupuncture.
doi:10.1186/1472-6882-12-148
PMCID: PMC3495216  PMID: 22953730
Comparative effectiveness research; Effectiveness guidance document; Acupuncture

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