There's no such thing as a 'negative' result
If one conducts research into CAM, sometimes the results will inevitably be less encouraging than its enthusiasts had hoped. Many (by no means all) the findings from my team fail to confirm that this or that treatments works or is devoid of adverse effects. People then speak of “negative” results. But this term puzzles me.
If one conducts research into CAM, sometimes the results will inevitably be less encouraging than its enthusiasts had hoped. Many (by no means all) the findings from my team fail to confirm that this or that treatments works or is devoid of adverse effects. People then speak of "negative" results. But this term puzzles me.
I fail to see much negativity in disclosing that homeopathic medicines or Back flower remedies or other treatments are placebos. I also don't think it is negative to show that chiropractic can cause adverse effects. Such findings enable people to choose other treatments which demonstrably generate more good than harm.
This only helps patients and GPs to make informed choices. Nothing negative in that, I hope you agree!
Such results are only negative for the purveyors of snake oils and bogus therapies. My loyalty, however, is certainly not with them. It has to be with patients. As a medical researcher, I have a responsibility to try improving the healthcare of tomorrow.
This is what medical research should be about, I'm sure. The best way to achieve this aim is to clearly state which treatments are effective, which might work and which are no good.
If we look at it from that angle, "negative" results are clearly not negative at all. All findings that are based on good science and advance our knowledge are positive.
Science, TH Huxley once wrote, is simply common sense at its best – that is rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy of logic.
I am sure he was correct.Professor Edzard Ernst Recent posts
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Natural doesn't mean safe. And CAM is neither 06 April 09