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Old 17th March 2009, 05:00 AM   #16
Mostly harmless
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Nor Flanden
Posts: 31,534
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
Well, we could discuss their "134 randomised controlled trials of homeopathy" as at the end of 2007, of which "59 were positive i.e. demonstrating that homeopathy has an effect beyond placebo; eight were negative and the remaining 67 were inconclusive". Are the "negative" trials those in which homoeopathy did worse than placebo or something? It obviously isn't those in which no significant benefit was found as those would be included in "inconclusive". It would be nice to see what assessment of the quality of the trials they made.

This looks to be the same information that the FoH are using in their recent answer to critics. Peter Fisher touted a similar review a couple of years ago. I never managed to find it published anywhere (Couldn't The editor of Homeopathy manage that?), but I found a press release indicating that it was something to do with the FoH. It would be nice to see sources for this sort of claim being published so we can check up on what they actually say.

Fisher quoted it as finding that "119 randomised, peer-reviewed clinical trials of homeopathy at the end of 2005 showed 49% positive results for homeopathy. Only 3% were negative". Those percentages must be rounded to the nearest 1%: I make that 58.31 "positive" trials and 3.57 "negative" ones, so perhaps it should be 58 and 4.

This means that in 2006 and 2007 there were only 15 new trials, only one of which was "positive".

Incidentally, I've now found another document on the BHA site which updates this to the end of 2008: The research evidence base for homeopathy
Up to the end of 2008, 136 RCTs had been published: 59 positive; 9 negative; 68 not statistically conclusive.

So that's only another two trials in 2008, one negative, one inconclusive.

This means that in the three years up to the end of 2008, there were 17 new trials, only one of which had a "positive" outcome.

Is meow going to turn up and shout "p=0.05", do you think?
"You got to use your brain." - McKinley Morganfield

"The poor mystic homeopaths feel like petted house-cats thrown at high flood on the breaking ice." - Leon Trotsky
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