New study: Homeopathy is generally better than placebo

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David FinerHomeopathy is generally superior to placebo, particularly in immune-related conditions. But it has been discounted by ideologically biased researchers, who have excluded almost all published studies, referring to virtual data, and using inappropriate statistics, writes physician Robert Hahn in a critical analysis in Forschende Komplementärmedizin.

Text: David Finer, 16 January, 2014

Furthermore, in order to gain greater certainty of evidence, rather than relying on a single study, many studies are evaluated together. Their results are ”pooled”. According to the traditional ”hierarchy of evidence”, so called randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are preferred.

An RCT is a specific type of scientific experiment, in which study subjects are randomly allocated to receive one or other of the alternative treatments under study. An RCT may contain control groups, in which groups receiving the experimental treatment are compared with control groups receiving no treatment (a placebo-controlled study) or a previously tested treatment (a positive-control study).

But:

“…Hahn asserts, the RCT is not the best form for evaluating the efficacy of homeopathic remedies, as well as the efficiency of more complex interventions in complementary medicine.”

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