Search Results for "ioannidis"

  1. On the dangers of using valid placebo controls in clinical trials of acupuncture
    I don’t recall if I’ve ever mentioned this before on this blog, but there was a time when I was less skeptical of acupuncture than I am now. It’s true. Don’t get me wrong, though. I never for a minute considered that the whole rigamarole about “unblocking” or R…
  2. Interpreting the Medical Literature
    The science in science-based medicine includes all of science, but relies most heavily on the biomedical literature – published studies that collectively represent our scientific medical knowledge. The scientific basis of medicine is only as good as this body of knowledge and the manner in whi…
  3. Fun with homeopaths and meta-analyses of homeopathy trials
    Homeopathy amuses me. Well, actually it both amuses me and appalls me. The amusement comes from just how utterly ridiculous the concepts behind homeopathy are. Think about it. It is nothing but pure magical thinking. Indeed, at the very core of homeopathy is a concept that can only be considered to …
  4. Persistence of Memory
    I have steadily endeavored to keep my mind free so as to give up any hypothesis, however much beloved (and I cannot resist forming one on every subject), as soon as the facts are shown to be opposed to it. — Charles R. Darwin I’m getting old: 50, almost 51, and that’s over 350 in dog years. A…
  5. RCT Plausibility Scale
    RCT Plausibility Scale After a few intro paragraphs, I want to present a scale of probability to estimate a value of a “prior” to plug into the formula for obtaining a Bayes Factor. The scale can help to estimate a value, but will still rely on an estimate, the non-quantitative element in Bayesi…
  6. Prior Probability: the Dirty Little Secret of “Evidence-Based Alternative Medicine”—Continued
    This is an addendum to my previous entry on Bayesian statistics for clinical research.† After that posting, a few comments made it clear that I needed to add some words about estimating prior probabilities of therapeutic hypotheses. This is a huge topic that I will discuss briefly. In that, happi…
  7. Prior Probability: The Dirty Little Secret of “Evidence-Based Alternative Medicine”
    This is actually the second entry in this series;† the first was Part V of the Homeopathy and Evidence-Based Medicine series, which began the discussion of why Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) is not up to the task of evaluating highly implausible claims. That discussion made the point that EBM favor…
  8. Hype over science: Does acupuncture really improve the chances of success for in vitro fertilization?
    There it was on Friday greeting me on the ABC News website: “Study: Acupuncture May Boost Pregnancy” in bold blue letters, with the title of the webpage being “Needles Help You Become Pregnant.” The story began: It sounds far-fetched sticking needles in women to help them bec…
  9. Another Acupuncture Claim
    News bulletin on BBC NEWS International version, 8 Feruary 2008:“Acupuncture ‘boosts IVF chances.’ Acupuncture may increase the success rates of fertility treatment, according to a study. “ (Manheimer E, Zhang G, Udoff L, Haramati A, Langenberg P, Berman BM, Bouter LM. Effects of acupuncture…
  10. Does Glucosamine Really Work?
    Glucosamine and chondroitin, used separately or together, are among the more popular diet supplements. They are used widely for osteoarthritis, especially of the knee, and have been better studied than most other diet supplements. But do they really work? The journal of my medical specialty, America…
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