Ground-breaking Study to Evaluate the Impact of Naturopathic Care on Type 2 Diabetes Patients
3/12/2015
Karamjit Singh, CCNM
Results will be shared with diabetes centres around the world
Thursday, March 12, 2015
by: Karamjit Singh, CCNM

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About CCNM

For almost forty years, the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) has been Canada's premier institute for education and research in naturopathic medicine. CCNM educates and trains naturopathic doctors through its rigorous four-year, full-time program, culminating in the only naturopathic degree in Canada. For more information, please visit www.ccnm.edu

ABOUT WILLIAM OSLER HEALTH SYSTEM & OSLER FOUNDATION William Osler Health System is a hospital system "Accredited with Exemplary Standing" that serves 1.3 million residents of Brampton, Etobicoke, and surrounding communities within the Central West Local Health Integration Network. Osler's emergency departments are among the busiest in Canada and its labour and delivery program is one of the largest in the province. William Osler Health System Foundation builds and fosters relationships in order to raise funds to support William Osler Health System's capital, education and research priorities at Brampton Civic Hospital, Etobicoke General Hospital and the new Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health & Wellness.

ABOUT THE WISE ELEPHANT FAMILY HEALTH TEAM The Wise Elephant Downtown Brampton Family Health Team is one of many Family Health Teams in the province of Ontario. Family Health Teams (FHTs) are the cutting edge approach to primary health care, bringing together different health-care providers to coordinate the highest possible quality of care. The Wise Elephant Downtown Brampton FHT is designed to give family doctors support from other complementary professionals, including specialists, nurses, nurse practitioners, mental health workers, pharmacists, health educators, occupational therapists and other health care professionals who work collaboratively, each utilizing their experience and skills to ensure healthcare needs are met. The WE-FHT is fully computerized using electronic health records and practitioners are able to logon remotely to the Osler portal to view patient records from the hospital. WE-FHT aims to provide the right care, at the right time by the right person.

ABOUT BRAMPTON CIVIC HOSPITAL/BRAMPTON NATUROPATHIC TEACHING CLINIC (BNTC) Brampton Naturopathic Teaching Clinic is located in Brampton Civic Hospital, the largest of Osler's three hospital sites. It serves one of the fastest growing and culturally diverse populations in Canada. Two-thirds of Brampton's population are visible minorities, with 38 per cent being of South Asian descent. People of South Asian descent have a four-fold higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes and of developing it earlier in life and at lower levels of obesity. The incidence of diabetes in Brampton, Malton and Rexdale were identified in 2012 data from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences as being 2.5 times higher than the provincial average of 9.64 diabetes cases for every 100 adults.
A group of health care organizations have begun work to study the effectiveness of both naturopathic and conventional medicine in treating Type 2 diabetes.

Through a $418,000 grant, researchers will have the opportunity to gain valuable insight into alternative treatment options, which will be shared to help diabetes patients around the world.

“With the presence of diabetes in this community significantly higher than the provincial average, this is an excellent opportunity to look more closely at how integrative care can lead to improved overall health outcomes for those with Type 2 diabetes,” said Harinder Malhi, MPP Brampton-Springdale. “We look forward to the results of this study and to learning more about the work of these high-quality health care partners.”

The Brampton-based study will be a collaborative project among the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM), William Osler Health System (Osler), and the Wise Elephant Family Team (WE-FHT) – a local primary health-care organization.

“This partnership is a significant step forward in understanding and evaluating patient-centred, integrative care for diabetes” says Dugald Seely, Director of Research at CCNM. “We’re excited at the prospect of producing sound evidence for a promising novel therapeutic approach for a disease that has a devastating impact on the health of many Canadians.”

Diabetes is more prevalent in Brampton than in any other area in the province. Its incidence is 2.5 times higher than the provincial average of 9.64 diabetes cases for every 100 adults.

“Osler’s high patient volumes coupled with the distinctive characteristics of the population it serves provides a rich source of information and creates a natural opportunity for us to learn,” said Dr. Ron Heslegrave, Chief of Research, William Osler Health System. “As a result, we are in a unique position to conduct this research and evaluate the additional value of naturopathic interventions coupled with more traditional medical approaches to diabetes care. This combined approach has tremendous potential to positively impact the lives of diabetes patients and their families in our region and around the world.”

Patients who already receive care at WE-FHT will be offered the opportunity to participate in the clinical trial, which Osler’s research team, in partnership with CCNM, will oversee. Those participants who are randomly selected for the active treatment group will receive naturopathic care at CCNM’s Brampton Naturopathic Teaching Clinic (BNTC), which is located at Osler’s Brampton Civic Hospital, in addition to their ongoing treatment.

“Naturopathic doctors provide a valuable role in enhancing the outcomes of patients within Family Health Teams,” said Dr. Sanjeev Goel, Lead Physician, WE-FHT, Brampton. “This study should help a significant proportion of the Type 2 diabetes patients at Wise Elephant Family Health Team achieve adequate control of diabetes and help improve their overall quality of life.”
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