Golden (2012) Beyond Randomized Controlled Trials: Evidence in Complementary Medicine
literature type:journal article
reference:Isaac Golden. Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 2012; Vol. 17, No. 1: pp 72-75.
description:Complementary and alternative medicine is criticized by some as lacking evidence to support the effectiveness of its methods and medicines. Such critics typically point to mixed results from using randomized controlled trials to test complementary and alternative medicine. Randomized controlled trials have been held to be the “gold standard” in pharmaceutical research, but a growing body of evidence in orthodox journals has identified their limitations. Here, 5 fundamental flaws in the randomized controlled trial–based model are discussed as well as the impact on its relevance for testing complementary and alternative medicine therapies. A better way to evaluate complementary and alternative medicine therapies is also proposed. A 7-item checklist is suggested to quantify the strength of an area of complementary and alternative medicine research.