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Old 21st November 2005, 08:45 AM   #1
Rolfe
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Mass existing and well distributed since long....

Originally Posted by Kumar View Post
Why then ,to go for modern evidances instead of practical observations & experiances in mass & well distributed people since long of its community.
Originally Posted by Kumar View Post
There can be difference in trial at home & trial at competitor's place esp when competitor's substances & views are used in decisions.
Well, our "home" can do these sorts of trials too. Just like Kumar wants us to do. That is, go and ask a bunch of homoeopathic patients if they're satisfied with what they got.

I thought someone else might have started a thread on this by now, but since they haven't, here is the link.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/4454856.stm
Quote:
A six-year study at Bristol Homeopathic Hospital shows over 70% of patients with chronic diseases reported positive health changes after treatment.

More than 6,500 patients took part in the study with problems ranging from eczema to menopause and arthritis.

The biggest improvements were seen in children - 89% of under 16s with asthma reported improvement.

Of the group 75% felt 'better' or 'much better', as did 68% of eczema patients under 16.
The report goes on to say that this study contradicts the recent Lancet study that showed homoeopathy to be no better than taking dummy drugs. In fact, of course, it doesn't.

The patients surveyed were merely asked if they felt better. By the homoeopath who had been treating them. Guess what the majority said? There was of course no control group, who were given exactly the same regimen, but instead of the selected remedies, got "dummy drugs" instead. Perfectly possible the same reports would have been given by the dummy treatment group.

The study that really contradicts this, specifically, is the one Kumar thinks he has debunked, but of course he hasn't. (White et al., 2003).
Quote:
In a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial the effects of individualised homeopathic remedies were compared with placebo medication in 96 children with mild to moderate asthma as an adjunct to conventional treatment. The main outcome measure was the active quality of living subscale of the Childhood Asthma Questionnaire administered at baseline and follow up at 12 months. Other outcome measures included other subscales of the same questionnaire, peak flow rates, use of medication, symptom scores, days off school, asthma events, global assessment of change, and adverse reactions.

There were no clinically relevant or statistically significant changes in the active quality of life score. Other subscales, notably those measuring severity, indicated relative improvements but the sizes of the effects were small. There were no differences between the groups for other measures.

This study provides no evidence that adjunctive homeopathic remedies, as prescribed by experienced homeopathic practitioners, are superior to placebo in improving the quality of life of children with mild to moderate asthma in addition to conventional treatment in primary care.
So, when you do a properly blinded, controlled study, the magic sugar pills have no effect. But when the homoeopath asks the homoeopathic patients how they feel, no less than 89% (or is that only 75% of the 89%? - the text is very unclear) of them say they have noticed an improvement. For exactly the same clinical condition, in (as far as it's possible to tell) identical circumstances.

What do we think this tells us about the nature of the placebo effect in the context of the way homoeopaths treat their patients?

Rolfe.
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Old 21st November 2005, 09:36 AM   #2
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It talks about particularly big approval ratings for under 16s suffering from asthma and eczema. Are these conditions that people tend to "grow out of?"

For that matter, people probably start seeing the homoeopath at a point when their condition is particularly severe, so they might claim a positive outcome if they've only returned to average.
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Old 21st November 2005, 10:50 AM   #3
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Quite honestly, when you consider how these trials are carried out, I'm almost surprised they didn't do even better. When you work out the figures, it's about 67% said they felt either "better" or "much better", on the asthma question. Now, how you feel on any given day is a fairly subjective thing anyway. When you have your friendly local homoeopath asking you solicitously whether maybe you feel better, possibly even expressing his opinion that you do in fact appear to be much better, how many patients are going to come out and declare no, I don't? Especially the sort of "believer" patient who tends to get referred to these people.

Prof. Egger had it right (quote at the end of the article).
Quote:
Patients were simply asked by their homeopathic doctor whether they felt better, and it is well known that in this situation many patients will come up with the answer the doctor wants to hear.
Compare that with the assesments carried out by the Exeter team, when they looked at whether their asthma patients were "better".
Quote:
The main outcome measure was the active quality of living subscale of the Childhood Asthma Questionnaire administered at baseline and follow up at 12 months. Other outcome measures included other subscales of the same questionnaire, peak flow rates, use of medication, symptom scores, days off school, asthma events, global assessment of change, and adverse reactions.
That's how you do it if you really want to see if there's anything going on. You get as objective a measurement as you can. It's only people who are trying to justify the unjustifiable who say "and tell me, do you feel a little better; better; or a lot better?"

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Old 22nd November 2005, 02:51 AM   #4
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Funny, I thought Kumar would be eager to tell us why the Bristol study is superior to the Exeter one.

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Old 22nd November 2005, 03:15 AM   #5
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Hell, I was confused enough by the language used with the poster's name underneath.

I must say, Rolfe, you've spent too much time on Kumar threads....It's a little scary.

The studies are cool, though. I'm sure Kumar will misinterpret and misrepresent them to the fullest. But I suppose `tis far better to light a candle....
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Old 22nd November 2005, 03:25 AM   #6
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Ben Goldacre has had a go at this one on his own web site,
http://www.badscience.net/?p=188
including linking to a pdf of the complete study,
http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdf...93?cookieSet=1
which is more than the BBC article deigned to do.

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Old 22nd November 2005, 03:29 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Well, our "home" can do these sorts of trials too. Just like Kumar wants us to do. That is, go and ask a bunch of homoeopathic patients if they're satisfied with what they got.

I thought someone else might have started a thread on this by now, but since they haven't, here is the link.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/4454856.stmThe report goes on to say that this study contradicts the recent Lancet study that showed homoeopathy to be no better than taking dummy drugs. In fact, of course, it doesn't.

The patients surveyed were merely asked if they felt better. By the homoeopath who had been treating them. Guess what the majority said? There was of course no control group, who were given exactly the same regimen, but instead of the selected remedies, got "dummy drugs" instead. Perfectly possible the same reports would have been given by the dummy treatment group.

The study that really contradicts this, specifically, is the one Kumar thinks he has debunked, but of course he hasn't. (White et al., 2003).So, when you do a properly blinded, controlled study, the magic sugar pills have no effect. But when the homoeopath asks the homoeopathic patients how they feel, no less than 89% (or is that only 75% of the 89%? - the text is very unclear) of them say they have noticed an improvement. For exactly the same clinical condition, in (as far as it's possible to tell) identical circumstances.

What do we think this tells us about the nature of the placebo effect in the context of the way homoeopaths treat their patients?

Rolfe.
Rolfe thanks, I think, you have cleared my every point/doubt, which I recently mentioned in one recent remarks against one study in some topic....Emotional effects, Home Effect, Temple effect, Hotel effect, Bar effect, Belief effect, Adjunctive studies effect, softer/lighter vs. stroger effects or subtle vs. chemicals effect or C vs. P effects...etc.

Sorry, not posting in detail as become careful as you asked/warned.

ETC.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 03:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kumar View Post
Rolfe thanks, I think, you have cleared my every point/doubt, which I recently mentioned in one recent remarks against one study in some topic....Emotional effects, Home Effect, Temple effect, Hotel effect, Bar effect, Belief effect, Adjunctive studies effect, softer/lighter vs. stroger effects or subtle vs. chemicals effect or C vs. P effects...etc.

Sorry, not posting in detail as become careful as you asked/warned.

ETC.
You forgot the most important effect when dealing with homeopathy: the control effect. Any controls on the study will nullify all effects of homeopathy. Weird, huh?
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Old 22nd November 2005, 03:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
All the patients were referred by their GP or hospital specialist and many had tried conventional treatment first without success.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/bristol/4454856.stm

There were no clinically relevant or statistically significant changes in the active quality of life score. Other subscales, notably those measuring severity, indicated relative improvements but the sizes of the effects were small. There were no differences between the groups for other measures.

This study provides no evidence that adjunctive homeopathic remedies, as prescribed by experienced homeopathic practitioners, are superior to placebo in improving the quality of life of children with mild to moderate asthma in addition to conventional treatment in primary care.
(from Rolfe's fordt post).
Just think dynamically & truely, how it happened. Clue: Bold letters in above quote.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 03:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Donks View Post
You forgot the most important effect when dealing with homeopathy: the control effect. Any controls on the study will nullify all effects of homeopathy. Weird, huh?
But you fought & forget the most important effect when dealing with homeopathy--- The Adjunctive study's Effect. Whatever left with this effect, was indicative. Just think "dynamacally & truely".
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Old 22nd November 2005, 03:43 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kumar View Post
Just think dynamically & truely, how it happened. Clue: Bold letters in above quote.
Clue: you are cherrypicking words in a desperate attempt at getting something positive out of a study that quite clearly states that there were no benefits.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 03:45 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Kumar View Post
But you fought & forget the most important effect when dealing with homeopathy--- The Adjunctive study's Effect. Whatever left with this effect, was indicative. Just think "dynamacally & truely".
So because it's adjunctive it's invalid? I'm sure you can provide evidence to back this up. Otherwise *poof* the assertion vanishes.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 04:04 AM   #13
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Kumar, wake up and smell the coffee.

Studies specifically designed to test whether homoeopathic sugar pills have any effect on the body consistently show they have none. However, homoeopaths are getting quite desperate to defend their vested interests, their "hospitals", their power. So instead of doing proper studies, they deliberately set out to produce a report that can be represented as showing that the whole homoeopathic ritual might have some benefit.

In doing this they reject every proper scientific procedure, for example a control group, a formal baseline pre-treatment assessment, any objective measurements of patients' condition, and even the use of impartial interviewers. Any of these could have introduced a degree of objectivity into the process, and so of course they were shunned.

Imagine, you have a chronic, but not very severe condition, which tends to come and go a bit (most of the conditions in the list given in that paper are in that category). You are rather a demanding patient, and open to the idea of complementary medicine, and your GP sends you to the homoeopaths. The homoeopaths give you a lot of attention, and make you feel special. But there's even more to it than that. To quote Ben Goldacre again.
Quote:
A transparent modern medic will say: “I can’t be exactly sure what the cause for your problem is. This treatment might make it better, but, well, it might not.” Nice. “Oh, and it also might have these side effects.” Thanks. Sometimes we even finish off with: “What do you think?”
I can't at the moment find the text where the suggested equivalents are given for alternative treatments, but it went something like this. "Acupuncture might help with your problem, but then again it might not, there's no definite evidence. And by the way, side effects include pain and bleeding. And there have been a number of fatalities due to infection or pneumothorax. What do you think?" Or similarly, "homoeopathy might make you feel better, but then again it might not, there's nothing but sugar in the pills anyway. Side effects include a wide range of aggravations, or you might start proving the remedy, which can also be unpleasant. There have been reports of people continuing to suffer for years after a homoeopathic proving. What do you think?"

But do the homoeopaths use this approach? Of course not. They're dogmatic and paternalistic, and they patronise the patient. Most of all, in my experience they claim success when none is really apparent. I feel that this is the most important key to the apparently good results of these "patient satisfaction" studies.

If you've been going to an honest GP for years with a chronic complaint, and the GP frowns and isn't terribly happy with how well you're doing, and agrees that there's little change, then a homoeopath comes along and starts telling you how much better you're looking, and encouraging you to re-interpret what's going on in terms of an improvement, then do you buy it? Quite honestly, yes. Indeed, I'm almost surprised that they couldn't get more than half their patients to admit to feeling "better, or much better".

What really bugs me is the dishonesty of it all. Qualified doctors are deliberately designing and publishing studies to obscure the fact that their remedies are sugar pills, in order to hold on to their empires.

Why isn't there a smilie for holding your nose?

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 04:08 AM   #14
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Just in case anyone was in any doubt, the patients at Bristol were also getting "adjunctive" treatment. They were also on conventional treatment for their conditions, as well as the homoeopathy.

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 04:08 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Kumar View Post
Just think dynamically & truely, how it happened. Clue: Bold letters in above quote.
Hey, this is a good game. Let's try bolding some different words:
Quote:
This study provides no evidence that adjunctive homeopathic remedies, as prescribed by experienced homeopathic practitioners, are superior to placebo in improving the quality of life of children with mild to moderate asthma in addition to conventional treatment in primary care.
How's that, Kumar? You're not the only one who can cherry-pick!

NB: I am not suggesting that this is a valid approach. I am just demonstrating the fallacy Kumar is trying to rely on.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 04:22 AM   #16
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I went looking through google scholar and I bumped into this pilot study done by homeopaths, seemingly a well controlled study. Dunno if it has been discussed here or not, I suppose you guys have seen it already. In any case, I thought it was interesting.
Results:
Quote:
Eighty-five percent (85%) (45/53) of women completed the study. There was no evidence of a difference seen between groups for either activity (adjusted difference =–0.4, 95% confidence interval CI –1.0 to 0.2, p = 0.17) or profile scores (adjusted difference = –0.4, 95% CI –0.9 to 0.1, p = 0.13) using this trial design, although post hoc power calculations suggests that 65–175 would be needed per group to detect differences of this magnitude with sufficient precision. Clinically relevant improvements in symptoms and mood disturbance were seen for both groups over the study period.
As I understand this it says "we found no difference between placebo and homeopathic treatment, but if we really crunch and massage the numbers, and get more patients (so we can massage even more numbers) we might find something."
Conclusion:
Quote:
Improvements were seen for symptom scores over the study period. However, presuming these improvements were caused by the individualized homeopathic approach, the study failed to show clearly that the specific effect of the remedy added further to the nonspecific effects of the consultation. Future trial design must ensure adequate power to account for the nonspecific impact of such complex individualized interventions while pragmatic designs may more readily answer questions of clinical and cost effectiveness.
Again my translation (take into account I'm used to reading Robotics Papers and not Medical ones): "The patients enjoyed some improvement of their symptoms due to the placebo effect, and we could find no effect beyond that. Next time we do the trial we need to get more people so we can see the effect that must surely be there because otherwise we are selling sham treatments."

Last edited by Donks; 22nd November 2005 at 04:25 AM.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 04:30 AM   #17
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Look at my comments;

http://www.badscience.net/?p=188

Are these ok/justified?
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Old 22nd November 2005, 04:35 AM   #18
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My God, the page has crashed!

(I feel guilty now, having pointed Kumar at Ben's blog. Maybe I should apologise to him.)

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 04:36 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Kumar View Post
Look at my comments;

http://www.badscience.net/?p=188

Are these ok/justified?
I'm sure they'll love them. They'll laugh and laugh and laugh.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 04:37 AM   #20
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OK, it's back. Kumar, didn't you hear what I told you? The patients in the Bristol study were also on conventional treatment.

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 04:44 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Donks View Post
Quote:
Eighty-five percent (85%) (45/53) of women completed the study. There was no evidence of a difference seen between groups for either activity (adjusted difference =–0.4, 95% confidence interval CI –1.0 to 0.2, p = 0.17) or profile scores (adjusted difference = –0.4, 95% CI –0.9 to 0.1, p = 0.13) using this trial design, although post hoc power calculations suggests that 65–175 would be needed per group to detect differences of this magnitude with sufficient precision.
So, despite all that we've been told by homoeopaths about the effects of their remedies being so large that they're self-evident, when they actually perform a properly blinded and controlled test the effects suddenly become too small to detect using the sample size they've chosen!

Quote:
Conclusion:

Again my translation (take into account I'm used to reading Robotics Papers and not Medical ones): "The patients enjoyed some improvement of their symptoms due to the placebo effect, and we could find no effect beyond that. Next time we do the trial we need to get more people so we can see the effect...
But haven't they notoced that the harder they look, and the better they design their tests, the smaller the observed effect gets?
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Old 22nd November 2005, 04:49 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Kumar View Post
Look at my comments;

http://www.badscience.net/?p=188

Are these ok/justified?
I certainly approve of this one:
Quote:
Homeopathic effects are said/thought/claimed by homeopaths as gentle, softer, slow but deep & long term. So these can’t be compared with conventional medicine’s real effects
I entirely agree. Homoeopathy's effects can not be compared to real effects. I'm glad you've finally managed to make this distinction.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 05:04 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
OK, it's back. Kumar, didn't you hear what I told you? The patients in the Bristol study were also on conventional treatment.

Rolfe.
Where you said? It os also not there in BBC article. Even if so said/there, still it don't justify that studies at both places are justified in observing homeopathic effects, exclusively. Many time, I have to suffer due to it....but what to do, I am also addicted to modernizations & do favour both C & P. Anway, some belief/emotional effects at home may also be having some role. Btw, Who surveyed at Bristol Homeopathic Hospital, whether doctors/people from modern system were involved in this survey?

I previously insisted for survey.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 05:08 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Kumar View Post
Where you said?
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Just in case anyone was in any doubt, the patients at Bristol were also getting "adjunctive" treatment. They were also on conventional treatment for their conditions, as well as the homoeopathy.
Quote:
It os also not there in BBC article.
Yes it is. It's even there in one of the extracts you quoted yourself.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 05:14 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
I certainly approve of this one: I entirely agree. Homoeopathy's effects can not be compared to real effects. I'm glad you've finally managed to make this distinction.
I am also. I said quite justified. Don't degrade/defame any of system--as may not be compareable, as you want. Moreover, being some "subtle"/"spritual", "Prime Force" may not like other's home or disbeliving in IT or testing it, so cause variables in understandings/expressing.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 05:17 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Donks View Post
I went looking through google scholar and I bumped into this pilot study done by homeopaths, seemingly a well controlled study. Dunno if it has been discussed here or not, I suppose you guys have seen it already. In any case, I thought it was interesting.

As I understand this it says "we found no difference between placebo and homeopathic treatment, but if we really crunch and massage the numbers, and get more patients (so we can massage even more numbers) we might find something."

Again my translation (take into account I'm used to reading Robotics Papers and not Medical ones): "The patients enjoyed some improvement of their symptoms due to the placebo effect, and we could find no effect beyond that. Next time we do the trial we need to get more people so we can see the effect that must surely be there because otherwise we are selling sham treatments."
Thanks, I hadn't seen that one. I don't usually look at the fanzine journals, on the assumption that anything well enough designed to get into a real journal will probably be in a real journal.

I think they mean that all the patients imagined they felt better due to the homoeopathic soft-soap approach, but there was no evidence that the sugar pills made any difference to this. However, they keep hoping that maybe a bigger trial might show some influence of the sugar pills? Nevertheless, the most important thing is to design trials so that the "complex" effect of the soft-soap approach is shown in the best possible light, in order to provide ammunition in the fight to keep homoeopathy funded by the NHS.

I won't go through all the arguments about whether it's justifiable to lie to your patients in order to make them feel better, because David Colquhoun has put it much better than I ever could.
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/Pharmacology/dc...k.html#dilemma

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Old 22nd November 2005, 05:20 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
Yes it is. It's even there in one of the extracts you quoted yourself.
May be discontinued for some time. It was six year study. I/you was not there.

Whatever may be the case, I can't accept/endorss any study with C+P.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 05:25 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Kumar View Post
Whatever may be the case, I can't accept/endorss any study with C+P.
So I take it that the answer you're proposing to the question you ask in your sig is "no."
Quote:
From Kumar's sig
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Old 22nd November 2005, 05:32 AM   #29
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So I clicked on the newer study that quoted the study I linked above and guess what? They also found nothing!
From here
Quote:
Results: There were no statistically significant differences between homeopathic remedy and placebo groups on the primary or secondary outcome variables. However, there were statistically and clinically significant improvements in both groups on many of the outcome measures.

Conclusions: This pilot study provides no evidence to support a therapeutic effect of individually selected homeopathic remedies in children with ADHD. A therapeutic effect of the homeopathic encounter is suggested and warrants further evaluation. Future studies should be carried out over a longer period of time and should include a control group that does not receive the homeopathic consultation. Comparison to conventional stimulant medication for ADHD also should be considered.
As Rolfe mentioned, they'd like to study the bedside manner of the homeopaths, but the remedy itself can go in the trash for all it's worth.

Kumar: You going to comment on either of these studies?
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Old 22nd November 2005, 05:35 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
Yes it is. It's even there in one of the extracts you quoted yourself.
Well, what the BBC report says is that patients had been treated previously by conventional methods. However, I have the advantage of you here, I heard both Dr. Spence and Prof. Egger being interviewed about this on Radio 4 yesterday morning. Prof. Egger specifically asked Dr. Spence if the patients in his study were also on conventional treatment as well as the homoeopathy, and Dr. Spence said yes, they were.

Prof. Egger's point of course was that in that case there was no way to show that it was the homoeopathy rather than the conventional treatment which was responsible for any improvement reported. However, it's also relevant to the point about antidoting. People like Kumar point to studies like the Exeter one, which are done exactly in the way that homoeopathy is delivered in practice, and declare that the use of conventional medicine at the same time as the homoeopathy is the reason why the sugar pills have turned out to have no effect.

However, the point is that homoeopathy in the 21st century is marketed as "complementary therapy", that is to be given as an extra on top of the regular stuff, with the claim that there is extra benefit to be achieved. And indeed, dishonest questionnaire surveys like the Bristol one (homoeopathy's principal source of "evidence") still show their positive results under these circumstances. Therefore it is indeed completely valid to do the controlled tests under the same circumstances.

Yes, the idea of homoeopathy as "complementary medicine" is entirely contradictory to the basic beliefs of classical homoeopathy, where any real medicine is routinely blamed for the failure of homoeopathic treatment. Nevertheless, it is so advantageous as regards co-exsisting within the NHS, and removing the risk of legal action for harm if a patient has been advised to stop medication they need, and being able to take the credit for improvements actually caused by the real medicine, that canny homoeopaths have spotted that this is the way to go.

Did I say this practice was dishonest? (To quote Peter Bowditch.) Why, yes, I did.

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 05:38 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Kumar View Post
Btw, Who surveyed at Bristol Homeopathic Hospital, whether doctors/people from modern system were involved in this survey?

I previously insisted for survey.
Why don't you actually read the full paper?

http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdf...cm.2005.11.793

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Old 22nd November 2005, 06:30 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Donks View Post
So I clicked on the newer study that quoted the study I linked above and guess what? They also found nothing!
From here
Quote:
A therapeutic effect of the homeopathic encounter is suggested and warrants further evaluation.
Well, why not abandon the sugar pill bit of the treatment, since it doesn't appear to have any effect, and call it something like "Cup of Tea and a Chat Therapy."

Quote:
Future studies ... should include a control group that does not receive the homeopathic consultation.
Wow! They're actually suggesting using a control group that doesn't receive a convincing placebo!
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Old 22nd November 2005, 06:33 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Kumar View Post
I/you was not there.
Well why not, as Rolfe has suggested, read the actual paper? That will tell you exactly how the study was carried out and what the results obtained were.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 06:45 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Well, what the BBC report says is that patients had been treated previously by conventional methods. However, I have the advantage of you here, I heard both Dr. Spence and Prof. Egger being interviewed about this on Radio 4 yesterday morning. Prof. Egger specifically asked Dr. Spence if the patients in his study were also on conventional treatment as well as the homoeopathy, and Dr. Spence said yes, they were.
That's interesting, because now I have had the opportunity to look more closely at the study, I see that it seems to indicate that patients taking conventional treatments were excluded from the results (or at least placed in a separate category):
Quote:
from foot of page 794, right-hand column
...if their conditions had been affected by obvious external factors (e.g. other treatments), this was scored as an "x."
See also the table of possible outcomes in the left-hand column.

ETA: According to Table 4 (Overall Outcome for 6544 Patients) only 20 out of the 6544 came under the "x" category.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 07:01 AM   #35
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Radio 4 interview with Spence and Egger

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Well, what the BBC report says is that patients had been treated previously by conventional methods. However, I have the advantage of you here, I heard both Dr. Spence and Prof. Egger being interviewed about this on Radio 4 yesterday morning. Prof. Egger specifically asked Dr. Spence if the patients in his study were also on conventional treatment as well as the homoeopathy, and Dr. Spence said yes, they were.
You can listen to the interview again here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/li...c_20051121.ram

This makes my blood boil ...
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Old 22nd November 2005, 07:14 AM   #36
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Quote:
from foot of page 794, right-hand column
...if their conditions had been affected by obvious external factors (e.g. other treatments), this was scored as an "x."
Er, you really think they excluded everybody taking other medication, on the basis of that little statement? I don't think so!

First, we have Dr. Spence's statement on the Today programme. Also, we know that homoeopathy is generally marketed in the NHS as a "complementary" therapy, and it is extremely unlikely that most of the Bristol patients weren't on conventional treatment.

I believe that the exclusion group only included the very few patients where even the homoeopaths were forced to admit that their recovery was due to other factors - or possibly, cases where a deterioration was attributable to side-effects of something else they were taking.

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Old 22nd November 2005, 07:24 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Er, you really think they excluded everybody taking other medication, on the basis of that little statement? I don't think so!

First, we have Dr. Spence's statement on the Today programme. Also, we know that homoeopathy is generally marketed in the NHS as a "complementary" therapy, and it is extremely unlikely that most of the Bristol patients weren't on conventional treatment.

I believe that the exclusion group only included the very few patients where even the homoeopaths were forced to admit that their recovery was due to other factors - or possibly, cases where a deterioration was attributable to side-effects of something else they were taking.

Rolfe.
That's how I interpret the interview (I've just finished listening to it again).

This is disingenuous at best, and downright fraudulent at worst. Absolutely scandalous.

However, we should be able to turn this to our advantage. Anyone with even half a brain (hello Kumar ...) should be able to see this for themselves. This whole issue may turn out to haunt these lunatics.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 07:33 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Blue Bubble View Post
However, we should be able to turn this to our advantage. Anyone with even half a brain (hello Kumar ...) should be able to see this for themselves. This whole issue may turn out to haunt these lunatics.
Unfortunately, I doubt this. The whole exercise was very cleverly calculated to achieve postive headlines and soundbites for homoeopathy, and in this it seems to have succeeded rather well.

Disingenuous? Dishonest. Duplicitious. Self-serving. Fraudulent. But nevertheless very clever.

Rolfe.
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Old 22nd November 2005, 07:40 AM   #39
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When I started to read this thread, I thought, what's the use? Does Rolfe think Kumar will take heed?

But it worked! Not that Kumar took any sense, of course, that would require a miracle, but he has exposed himself in an unusually clear way as a typical woo, who will reject and cherry-pick to suit his purpose. Gone is the inquisitive front that keeps fooling newcomers for a thread or two, and out in the open is your plain vanila, totally bias-ridden woo. Well done Rolfe!

Also note that in Kumar's badscience commentary, the good grammar fairie has not only swooped, she has made a landing and sits squarely throughout the piece, which, while not perfect English, is reasonably coherent and reasonably correctly spelled.

Kumar, you are a fake and a troll.

And of course, as others have already remarked, your points are not valid. The trials in question expose the real sitiation for homeopathe very well: It is used as a supplementary treatment, and it has no effect beyond placebo.

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Old 22nd November 2005, 07:41 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by from foot of page 794, right-hand column
...if their conditions had been affected by obvious external factors (e.g. other treatments), this was scored as an "x."
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Er, you really think they excluded everybody taking other medication, on the basis of that little statement? I don't think so!
Me neither; Spence was quite clear in the interview that the patients had been treated with conventional medicine for some time, but still hadn't been fully cured. Therefore I suspect that to him the conventional medicine would not be an obvious external factor. It hadn't worked so far, so any improvement must be due to the homeopathic junk.
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