Why Write About Alternative Medicine? Part Three: Risks

February 6, 2012 at 12:30 pm (Alternative Medicine, Miscellaneous) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Another reason to write about alternative medicine: risk. Alternative therapies have associated risks that practitioners may not inform patients about. In part one of this series (here), I linked to research that found media coverage of alternative medicine to be positive (in some cases overwhelmingly so) and to lack discussion of the risks, benefits, and costs.

Given the reluctance of practitioners and journalists to tell people about the risks of CAM, I think it is worth taking some time to blog about them.

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An A-Z of Alternative Medicine

January 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm (Alternative Medicine) (, , , , , , , )

An incomplete list of alternative therapies, and comment on some of the benefits and risks. Read the rest of this entry »

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Papers for Skeptics

August 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm (Miscellaneous) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I’m sure everyone has favourite research articles (please tell me it’s not just me). I thought I’d share some of mine. Most are available as free full text, but there are a few where I link to an abstract. Some links will open in PDF, but I’ve tried to make these obvious in the post. I think I’ve saved copies of each paper where full text was available, so if a link to the full text of a paper dies and you can’t get hold of it elsewhere do feel free to email me or leave a comment below and ask for a copy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Risks of CAM Part One: Nocebo

August 25, 2010 at 6:30 pm (Alternative Medicine, Chiropractic, Nutritionism, Patrick Holford, Placebo) (, , , , , , , )

Risk of adverse effects from (mis)information

As well as relying on the placebo effect when making claims of the efficacy of their therapies, those providing alternative treatments may also be aided by something akin to the nocebo effect. If you tell healthy people they are sick (or sick people that they are sicker than they thought), it may be possible to induce the perception of symptoms that you can later claim to have resolved. Read the rest of this entry »

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Chiropractic For Autism

May 14, 2010 at 4:50 pm (Chiropractic) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This PDF from Discover Chiropractic is headed “Chiropractic and Autism: Studies Give Hope”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Simon Singh and the British Chiropractic Association

April 1, 2010 at 4:35 pm (Alternative Medicine, Chiropractic, Law, Legal Chill) (, , , , , , , )

Having co-authored a book about alternative medicine with Edzard Ernst, popular science writer Simon Singh penned an article for the Guardian about one of the alternative therapies covered in the book. The article was published at a time when chiropractic was being promoted. This newspaper article then became the subject of a complaint from the chiropractic association, the BCA. Read the rest of this entry »

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In Defence Of Bloodletting

December 6, 2009 at 9:37 pm (Alternative Medicine, Chiropractic, Good Science, Homeopathy) (, , , , , , )

Bloodletting is sometimes used as an example of a medical treatment that we once thought plausible, but now view as ridiculous. It is compared with chiropractic, homeopathy, and other “Alternative Medicine” disciplines in order to ridicule them. However, we might have been unfair. It appears that bloodletting may actually be more valuable than the Alt Med treatments it is compared to. Read the rest of this entry »

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Chiropractic “For Sceptics Only” Pages

August 31, 2009 at 7:53 pm (Alternative Medicine, Chiropractic) (, , )

Here (and here), we have chiropractors providing “For Sceptics Only” pages on their websites. Let’s take a look… Read the rest of this entry »

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Chiropractic for Colic: A Planned RCT

August 13, 2009 at 2:16 pm (Alternative Medicine, Chiropractic) (, , )

According to this, a randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial into the effects of chiropractic treatment on infantile colic is to take place. Some will say “too little too late”, given that chiropractors have been claiming to “treat” or “help with” colic for some time now. I have a different concern. The notes on the planned trial state that “subgroup analyses will be performed to identify possible subgroups of infants who will benefit the most from the treatment”. My concern is that, even in the event that the trial does not show a benefit for chiropractic treatment of colic, advocates may claim that subgroup analysis shows that there is a benefit for some children and therefore chiropractic works as a treatment for colic. [The remainder of this post will consist mainly of copying and pasting from here and one or two other sources.]

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All The Way up To Eleven… Beware The Spinal Trap

July 29, 2009 at 12:42 pm (Alternative Medicine, Chiropractic, Law, Legal Chill) (, , , )

Following the decision of the BCA to sue Simon Singh for his 2008 article Beware the Spinal Trap (published in the Guardian), much has happened. Two bloggers made omnibus complaints about hundreds of chiropractors, for one thing. I’ve written a number of posts about chiropractic myself, but today’s post is a reprint of Simon Singh’s original article, made “lawyer-friendly”. Read the rest of this entry »

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