What alternative health

practitioners might not tell you

 

ebm-first.com

 

 

 

Ask for evidence

 

sas-i-dont-know-what-to-believe

 

Keep Libel out of Science

 

free speech is not for sale 165

 

1023

 

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Sense About Science review [pdf]

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"I have repeatedly argued that the art and science of medicine must not be separated, e.g. both are core values for any good healthcare. Such a separation would mean that patients might receive ineffective treatments plus the benefits of a good therapeutic relationship from CAM practitioners or effective therapies plus inadequate therapeutic relationships from conventional clinicians. This would clearly be wrong; it not only means that healthcare is suboptimal but it also implies that patients are at risk. Good healthcare must incorporate both and the art the science of medicine…Providers of CAM tend to build better therapeutic relationships than mainstream healthcare professionals. In turn, this implies that much of the popularity of CAM is a poignant criticism of the failures of mainstream healthcare. We should consider it seriously with a view of improving our service to patients.” Edzard Ernst, International Journal of Clinical Practice (October 2010) [Subscription only]

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“The curricula on the integrative medicine sites were strongly biased in favor of CAM, many of the references were to poor-quality clinical trials, and they were five to six years out of date. These "evidence-based CAM" curricula, which are used all over the country, fail to meet the generally accepted standards of evidence-based medicine. By tolerating this situation, health professions schools are not meeting their educational and ethical obligations to learners, patients, or society. Because integrative medicine programs have failed to uphold educational standards, medical and nursing schools need to assume responsibility for their oversight. The authors suggest (1) appointing faculty committees to review the educational materials and therapies provided by integrative medicine programs, (2) holding integrative medicine programs' education about CAM to the same standard of evidence used for conventional treatments, and (3) providing ongoing oversight of integrative medicine education programs.” Academic Medicine (September 2009)

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“The marketing of so-called CAM or integrative medicine continues. These terms are just that – marketing. They are otherwise vacuous, even deceptive, and meant only to conceal the naked fact that most medical interventions that hide under the CAM/integrative umbrella lack plausibility or credible evidence that they actually work.” Steven Novella MD, Science Based Medicine (9th September 2009)

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"The holistic approach of alternative medicine is nothing more than an excuse to avoid medical diagnosis. Alternative practitioners remove this burden by assigning the cause of disease to the realm of spirituality: the one aspect of the mind-spirit-body model that has no evidence to support it." (UK Skeptics)

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Your Guide to Health Fraud, Quackery, and Intelligent Decisions

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Medical quackery can threaten both your health and pocketbook. Learn how to spot it.

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Article by the late Barry L. Beyerstein, PhD, formerly Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada. (Academic Medicine) [NOTE: This article has now become subscription-only, however nearly all of the original text is contained in this archive link to Barry Beyerstein's Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine article entitled 'Social and Judgmental Biases That Make Inert Treatments Seem To Work' .]

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Critical reviews of alternative medicine and links on quackery and health fraud

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Contends that the Absurd in medicine has been aided and legitimised through economic, social, and political currents: "Postmodernism has promoted breakdown and reorientation of structured forms of thought. One of its guises is language distortion — the redefinition and use of words to fit personal views. For example, alternative and complementary have been substituted for quackery, dubious and implausible. Another is the invention of integrative medicine — designed to leapfrog methods into practice without need for proof." Wallace Sampson and Kimball Atwood IV (Medical Journal of Australia)

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"To my mind, there is no question: holism has always been at the heart of any type of good medicine, and only suboptimal healthcare is not holistic. To claim otherwise could even be offensive to many conventional practitioners." Edzard Ernst, Focus on Alternative and Complementary Medicine [FACT]

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Commentary by Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD, FRCP, (Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

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"…there is no such thing as a placebo responder (someone who always benefits from placebo) and a placebo non-responder (someone who never benefits from it). This unreliability makes it problematic to count on placebo effects in clinical practice." Edzard Ernst (Arthritis Research Campaign feature)

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Article by the late Barry L. Beyerstein, PhD, formerly Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada [pdf]