Friday, 5 February 2010

Evidence-Based Medicine vs. Science-Based Medicine

The medical profession has adopted Evidence Based Medicine (EBM), and its use of Randomized Controlled Ttrials (RCT's), as principal method to use when looking for the best way to diagnose and treat a certain disorder. Kimball Atwood, for Science-Based Medicine, points out that
several of us [at Science-Based Medicine] consider EBM to be incomplete in its gathering of evidence 
He also observes
that human RCTs, as good as they are at minimizing bias or chance deviations from population parameters, cannot ever be expected to provide, by themselves, objective measures of truth. There is still ample room for erroneous conclusions. Without using broader knowledge (science) to guide our thinking, we will plunge headlong into a thicket of errors—exactly as happened in parapsychology for decades and is now being repeated by its offspring, “CAM” research.
In his view EBM, at present, is a "subset of Science-Based Medicine (SBM), because EBM by itself is incomplete." When it incorporates all the evidence EBM and SBM will be "interchangeable."

Update: Evidence in Medicine discusses EBM and its limitations too.

No comments:

Post a Comment