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Randomized Trial of the Effect of an Integrative Medicine Approach to the Management of Asthma in Adults on Disease-Related Quality of Life and Pulmonary Function

Benjamin Kligler, MD; Peter Homel, PhD; Arthur E. Blank, PhD; Jeanne Kenney, RN; Hanniel Levenson, MS; Woodson Merrell, MD


Typically, a patient choosing an integrative medicine approach for a chronic illness such as asthma will be offered a combination of three to six therapeutic interventions that simultaneously address different aspects of the lifestyle triggers of disease, including diet, physical activity, and stress management, among others. The effectiveness of any one of these interventions alone might be modest, undetectable even in a well-designed clinical trial, but the combined effectiveness of several interventions at once may be substantially greater. Although rigorous study design is a challenge, there is a great need for clinical trials designed to examine the effectiveness of this type of multicomponent, lifestyle-oriented approach to the treatment of chronic illness such as asthma.1 The work of Dean Ornish on a lifestyle approach to cardiovascular disease was an early example of this type of approach.

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