Natural Therapies Review 2019-20 - invitation to submit published scientific research evidence citations on clinical effectiveness of natural therapies in tranche 1

Closes 21 Feb 2020

Opened 27 Jan 2020

Overview

On 7 April 2019, the Minister for Health announced an updated review of natural therapies. The review is being led by the Australian Government Chief Medical Officer (CMO) supported by the Natural Therapies Review Expert Advisory Panel (NTREAP) and utilising the expertise of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The announcement included that the CMO’s review would assess additional available evidence for natural therapies including undertaking public consultation and provide advice to Government on whether certain natural therapies should be eligible for subsidy through the private health insurance rebate.

Why We Are Consulting

The scope of the review and this call for evidence

The Department is inviting stakeholders to submit citations for published scientific research studies for consideration in the Natural Therapies Review 2019-20. Please do not provide electronic or hard copy of studies. 

This call for evidence refers to the therapies in tranche one, specifically:

  • naturopathy;
  • Pilates;
  • Rolfing;
  • shiatsu;
  • tai chi;
  • western herbalism; and
  • yoga.

Studies on the clinical effectiveness of the above natural therapies in preventing and/or treating health conditions, disease or injuries in humans are being sought.

Evidence for the following natural therapies in tranche two is expected to be sought in mid-2020:

  • Alexander technique;
  • aromatherapy;
  • Bowen therapy;
  • Buteyko;
  • Feldenkrais;
  • homeopathy;
  • iridology;
  • kinesiology; and
  • reflexology.

Studies in scope of this call for evidence and potentially relevant for inclusion in the systematic reviews

For the above listed tranche one natural therapies, published scientific research studies will be considered for inclusion in the systematic reviews if they satisfy the following:

  • the population/participants in the study are people of any age, with or at risk of developing any injury, disease, medical condition or pre-clinical condition; 
  • the study evaluates the clinical effectiveness of the therapy in humans only. This includes whole-system, multi-component practice and may include components of the therapy (i.e. tools of the trade); and
  • the study reports human health outcomes in relation to prevention or treatment of a specific injury, disease, medical condition or pre-clinical condition.

Note: At the time of this call for evidence, no restrictions apply to publication date, language, geographical location, publication status or number of participants in the study. All evidence considered in scope of this call for evidence will be assessed by the evidence reviewers against the final research protocols approved by the NHMRC's Natural Therapies Working Committee (NTWC).

Evidence that is out-of-scope for this call for evidence and will be excluded from the systematic reviews

For the above listed tranche one natural therapies, published research evidence will not be considered for inclusion in the systemic reviews if the following apply:

  • it is a case report or not a scientific study, i.e. it is an expert opinion article, editorial, letter/email, detailed personal history/narrative, personal medical information/record, blog or newspaper article;
  • the study is not formally published (for example, in a book or non-peer reviewed journal article); or
  • the study was included in the 2014-15 Natural Therapies Review unless approved for reconsideration by the NTREAP.

Evidence for reconsideration by NTREAP

For the above listed tranche one natural therapies, published research evidence previously considered as part of the 2014-15 Natural Therapies Review will be provided to NTREAP for assessment to be reconsidered in the current review if a rationale for its reconsideration is provided.

As a guide, the systematic reviews included in the 2014-15 review were published between 1 January 2008 and January 2014. However a complete list of the citations (for tranche one natural therapies) considered for inclusion is provided in the attachment.

 

Provide citations for published scientific research studies

Requested Response Timeframes

Please provide any citations for published scientific research studies for the above identified therapies by email to

naturaltherapiesreview@health.gov.au

by close of business Friday 21 February 2020. If you have any questions regarding this call for evidence please also direct them to this email address.

Please group citations by the therapy they apply to and the rationale for reconsideration (if applicable).

Format of citations

Published scientific research evidence is to be provided in the attached template as a citation that includes:

  • A list of all authors (may be individuals or organisations. If no author, include name of Editor)
  • Year of publication
  • Title of article (in full) and abstract (or brief description)
  • Name of journal or other source (in full, not abbreviated)
  • Volume and issue number, if available
  • Page numbers, if available
  • Digital Object Identifier (DOI), if available

Submissions that are not provided on the template, or do not include this information, may be difficult to source and therefore may not be considered.

Example:

Zhou, Y, Wu, L et al 2009. [The Rehabilitative Effects of Taijiquan Training with East Medical on Middle-elderly COPD Patients], Journal of Jilin Institute of Physical Education, 6 (25), 54-59.

To explore the effect of Taijiquan combined with traditional Chinese medicine on the rehabilitation of middle-aged and elderly COPD patients. Conclusion: The application of Taijiquan combined with traditional Chinese medicine has a significant effect on the rehabilitation of middle-aged and elderly COPD patients, in particular, it has a positive effect on the improvement of respiratory function and immune function of sick patients.

This citation would be grouped for example with other citations for:

  • Tai Chi

in a subset of those citations with the following rationale for reconsideration:

  • excluded from the 2014-15 Natural Therapies review as was not a systematic review of randomised control trials.

Audiences

  • Academics
  • Non-government organisations
  • Health professionals
  • Health workforce
  • General public

Interests

  • Health insurance