Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT's) – the gold standard for modern medical research

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Because modern scientific research gives many people confidence and for some the belief that the conclusion is ‘fact’, I need to be clear on my feeling about the pitfalls of modern research and how it is actually often not a good reflection of real life. We do not live in a vacuum and cannot be reduced to one aspect of health, as life is chalked full of variables and each individual is unique in their expression into the world. I believe this recent quote from a study from the New England Journal of Medicine gives a good example of why it is critical that we closely observe each and every patient in the clinical setting to really deliver safe effective patient centered medicine;

How Good Is Our Evidence From Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs)?
A fascinating review of all the New England Journal of Medicine RCTs published over the past decade that purportedly should have changed medical practice showed that 46% were subsequently reversed. An accompanying, highly provocative editorial stated, “After 65 years of randomized trials, ineffective, harmful, expensive medical practices are being introduced more frequently now than at any other time in the history of medicine.”

Conclusions taken straight from the Mayo Clinic website research abstract: “This investigation sheds light on low-value practices and patterns of medical research.” (https://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(13)00405-9/abstract)


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