Research Activities

At any time, Endeavour College of Natural Health is involved in a range of research projects, both domestic and international. Below are the research projects that Endeavour is currently pursuing.

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Strategic research priorities

All research activities at Endeavour are tied to the strategic research priorities identified by the Office of Research. The process for developing the strategic research priorities is outlined in our Research Policy.

The current research priorities for the College are:

  • Contemporary practice – examines facets of professional CM practice in contemporary health systems
  • Consumption and utilisation – examines aspects of CM utilisation by the public
  • Innovation in education – examines effective methods for the delivery of CM education as well as exploring innovative approaches to CM education
  • Treatments and therapies – examines clinical safety and effectiveness of CM treatments, products and practices with approaches which respect the principles and philosophies underpinning many CM disciplines

A Phase 2 Randomised, Double Blind Clinical Trial Assessing the Tolerability of two Different Rations of Medicinal Cannabis in Patients with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GMB)

Project Lead Investigator: Dr Janet Schloss

This world first clinical trial investigating whether medicinal cannabis can benefit patients with malignant brain tumours is being led by Clinical Trials Manager Dr Janet Schloss from the Office of Research and supported by internationally renowned neurosurgeon Professor Charlie Teo. Based on recent studies, medicinal cannabis may slow the growth of tumours particularly aggressive gliomas, as such it is essential to conduct further clinical research in this area. Investigating the appropriate dosage guidelines and understanding whether medicinal cannabis has a role to play in reducing tumour size and the development of new glioma tumours for patients is imperative. Assessing this area could be life changing for individuals living with the disease and their families. This phase 2 clinical trial will examine whether high THC medicinal cannabis can be tolerated by people with glioma (a type of brain tumour) and if it can affect tumour growth when administered with standard medical treatment. This trial is funded by BioCeuticals, Australia's leading provider of nutritional and therapeutic supplements, who have invested $500,000 as part of their commitment to provide practitioners with evidence-based solutions for health conditions.

The Naturopathic Approach to Managing Endometriosis in Australia

Project Lead Investigator: Rebecca Reid

Currently, there is limited research evidence that highlights the naturopathic management and treatments prescribed to women with diagnosed endometriosis, despite research highlighting that women may seek care from naturopaths. Naturopathy, being a holistic and patient-centre care profession, may have a role in helping women to manage their endometriosis symptoms and assist with improving their quality of life. Due to these reasons, research scholarships is needed to investigate the use of naturopathic management for this debility condition. As such, the aim of this cross-sectional survey is to gather preliminary data on what naturopathic treatment regimens are being utilised by Australian naturopaths for the management of endometriosis in the contemporary clinical practice setting.

Prospective Observational Study of Naturopathic Approaches to IBS in Academic Teaching Clinics

Project Lead Investigator: Dr Joshua Goldenberg

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common functional bowel disorder with a worldwide prevalence estimated between 10-20%. It has a significant impact on quality of life and societal expense. While there are pharmaceutical options available, few can be reliably recommended. An international collaboration of naturopathic researchers are looking to observe the impact of naturopathic care on the symptoms of IBS. The main aim of the study is to describe naturopathic approaches to IBS as well as establish pilot data on before-and-after changes to IBS following naturopathic treatment. Any adult who presents to one of the participating naturopathic academic teaching clinics for the first time with a diagnosis of IBS is eligible to be involved in the study.

Practitioner Research and Collaboration Initiative (PRACI)

Project Lead Investigator: Dr Amie Steel

PRACI is one of the largest and most ambitious project of its kind in the world and will involve 14 complementary medicine (CM) healthcare professions. PRACI is based on established research design used by many health professions known as a Practice-Based Research Network (PBRN). The essence of a PBRN is a collaborative network of researchers in academic institutions and practitioners in real clinical settings. The essence of PRACI is to support the development of new research based on real clinical questions and grass-roots approaches in CM. Essentially, PRACI is a CM research project of national and international importance. It provides an opportunity for CM practitioners to show their commitment to supporting practitioner-driven research which is relevant to practice and the wider research community. PRACI is a legacy for the future of CM in Australia.

Women's experiences of endometriosis and health services utilisation

Project Lead Investigator: Rebecca Reid

Women with endometriosis face many difficulties with managing the disease and often experience issues seeking treatment. Within Australia, there is scholarship on the use of complementary medicine for female reproductive conditions; however there is limited evidence in cases of endometriosis and the role of naturopathic care in managing the disease. Using a cross-sectional survey design, this project will seek to investigate the characteristics and utilisation of naturopathic care by women with endometriosis. This project will have a key focus on the demographics of users, experiences of endometriosis, and the prevalence of use of naturopathic care by women with endometriosis in the Australian community.

Australian naturopathic management for irritable bowel syndrome

Project Lead Investigator: Rebecca Reid

Irritable bowel symptoms (IBS) is a common functional bowel disorder that presents with irregularity changes in stool frequency and consistency, abdominal pain, all of which can vary in pain severity. Within the Australian context it is estimated that one in five individuals experience IBS at some point in their lives and are increasingly seeking complementary and alternative care for the management of their IBS. Given the multi-factorial nature of naturopathic care, being a profession under the complementary medicine umbrella, this project seeks to identify what is considered to be reasonable care for the management of IBS from naturopaths in the Australian naturopathic landscape. This project will be conducted using the Delphi method and may assist in building the evidence base for naturopathic care and IBS.

Verifying the validity of urinary kryptopyrrole testing

Project Lead Investigator: Dr Amie Steel

Urinary kryptopyrrole testing has been used since the 1960s to assist in the diagnosis and management of mental health disorders. Despite this long history of use, there has been minimal formal study into the validity of the testing. The Office of Research, in collaboration with SAFE Analytical Laboratories Pty Ltd (SAFE Labs), is undertaking research using SAFE Labs' urinary kryptopyrrole test in both a healthy adult population, and an adult population with diagnosed anxiety. It is hoped that a clear reference interval for urinary kryptopyrroles can be established in both of these population, enabling better patient management, and providing suitable data for registration of the test in Australia.

Nocturnal Enuresis Randomised Controlled Clinical Trial

Project Lead Investigator: Dr Amie Steel

Bed wetting, or the medical term 'nocturnal enuresis', is a form of night time urinary incontinence occurring in younger children. There are many factors that can contribute to this condition which can affect up to 20% of children over 5 years old. Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) treatments offer potential benefits but need to be tested under scientific conditions to determine if they work and are safe. It is well documented that children have improved self-esteem, self-concept and self-care if they are able to reduce or resolve bed wetting issues. This leads to improvements in social relationships with family and peers. The main aim of the study is determine how effective an herbal capsule (listed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration - TGA) is at reducing or stopping bed-wetting at night by children. The target population for this study will be children aged 6 to 14 years old both male and female.

Exploring the transition to practice of recently graduated naturopaths

Project Lead Investigator: Dr Amie Steel

The success of graduates after obtaining a qualification is of paramount concern to all higher education institutions and of benefit to the economy and society more broadly. Data on the experiences, attitudes and perceptions of graduates post-graduation is an area often overlooked in workforce data and there is no data in the area of complementary medicine graduates to date. As such, the Office of Research is undertaking a project that aims to gather information relevant to the experience of new naturopathy graduates when they transition from undergraduate study into clinical practice. This project aims to describe the experience of naturopaths who have recently joined their profession, with regards to the business, professional and personal challenges associated with transitioning to clinical practice.

Training complementary medicine practitioners in the new millennium

Project Lead Investigator: Dr Amie Steel

This research project is an international research collaboration between Endeavour and the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR, USA. The project explores the challenges and opportunities facing institutions responsible for the education of complementary medicine (CM) practitioners in contemporary health systems. The project will examine a number of significant topics relating to the interface between science and tradition for contemporary CM education and the methods utilised to deliver education training to CM practitioners including the educational delivery methods used in CM practitioner training, and the perceptions of CM faculty and student towards the role and value of traditional CM knowledge and new scientific knowledge.