If it’s tricky to decide whether pharmacological interventions are effective then it’s very tricky indeed to evaluate whether psychological therapies work. Although techniques from randomised controlled trials can help uncover causal effects, often important components such as double blinding are impossible – how could a practitioner follow a treatment manual without knowing what she or he is doing? Randomisation is not always possible, for example when evaluating routine practice (see Wolpert, Fugard, & Deighton, 2013 for examples). As Jon illustrated in a previous post, a story of mechanism is still necessary even with perfect measurement and methodology.
Month: July 2014
This was the theme of a symposium at Oxford yesterday, organised by Jeremy Howick. We covered a broad range of answers to this question, including: nothing (Ray Tallis), understanding the role of values (Elselijn Kingma), linguistic analysis (Bill Fulford), training for medical students (Alexander Bird).
Welcome to EBM+, a consortium of individuals interested in improving the way in which evidence-based medicine takes evidence of mechanisms into account.