Individualised trial of homeopathy



P

Peter Moran

Guest
Here is an example of a trial of homeopathic medicine where the homeopaths were given the
opportunity to individualise treatment, as some homeopaths claim is necessary to their "art".

Thorax 2003;58:317-321

Individualised homeopathy as an adjunct in the treatment of childhood asthma: a randomised

placebo controlled trial

A White, P Slade, C Hunt, A Hart and E Ernst

Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, Exeter

EX2 4NT, UK

Background: Homeopathy is frequently used to treat asthma in children. In the common classical form
of homeopathy, prescriptions are individualised for each patient. There has been no rigorous
investigation into this form of treatment for asthma.

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusions: 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.
 
R

Rod

Guest
Thanks Peter, I do note that the study concludes that the homeopathic treatment is no better than
the Placebo (I shall please) treatment. The problem is that the Placebo effect is rather major as it
is used by science as the measure against "known/suspected" possible treatments. The problem I have
is, why Science would use a measure of the "placebo effect" which is an accepted method for the
basis of study and result. Is that not like saying " that we know that this will also influence the
problem but we do not know why"

How science can measure against a " Do not know why" is somewhat of a mystery, which of course is
the "placebo effect"

Cheers Rod. "Peter Moran" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
02.brisbane.pipenetworks.com.au...
> Here is an example of a trial of homeopathic medicine where the homeopaths were given the
> opportunity to individualise treatment, as some homeopaths claim is necessary to their "art".
>
> Thorax 2003;58:317-321
>
> Individualised homeopathy as an adjunct in the treatment of childhood asthma: a randomised
>
> placebo controlled trial
>
>
> A White, P Slade, C Hunt, A Hart and E Ernst
>
>
> Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter
and
> Plymouth, Exeter
>
> EX2 4NT, UK
>
>
>
>
> Background: Homeopathy is frequently used to treat asthma in children. In the common classical
> form of homeopathy, prescriptions are individualised for each patient. There has been no rigorous
> investigation into this form
of
> treatment for asthma.
>
>
> Methods: 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.
>
>
> Results: 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.
>
>
> Conclusions: 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.
>
>
 
B

Baldrick

Guest
They will compare apples with black matter. Placebo fx is to posology like gravity to physics, it is
everywhere and affect everything, so it is also included and perhaps considered if not expected. But
as it´s spectrum of function is not quantifiable, it can as well be the drug itself. Paradoxically
science wouldn´t be able to prove that healing comes from chemical reactions triggered by their
drugs, until they explain scientifically placebo fx and disassociate it from those of the drugs.

"Rod" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
server.bigpond.net.au...
> Thanks Peter, I do note that the study concludes that the homeopathic treatment is no better than
> the Placebo (I shall please) treatment.
 
E

Eric Bohlman

Guest
"Rod" <[email protected]> wrote in
news:[email protected]:

> Thanks Peter, I do note that the study concludes that the homeopathic treatment is no better than
> the Placebo (I shall please) treatment. The problem is that the Placebo effect is rather major as
> it is used by science as the measure against "known/suspected" possible treatments. The problem I
> have is, why Science would use a measure of the "placebo effect" which is an accepted method for
> the basis of study and result. Is that not like saying " that we know that this will also
> influence the problem but we do not know why"
>
> How science can measure against a " Do not know why" is somewhat of a mystery, which of course is
> the "placebo effect"

Much of what's labelled "placebo effect" is quite well known; it's simply the ordinary natural
history of various conditions, which is quite predictable on average for large groups but is quite
unpredictable on the individual level. Let's say, for example, that you're trying to evaluate the
effectiveness of a proposed treatment for bedwetting in children. You *really* need to use a control
group, because around half of all children who wet their beds at a given age will be dry a year from
now even if you do absolutely nothing. Or say you're looking at a treatment for multiple sclerosis
symptoms. The fact is that MS exacerbations often spontaneously resolve, sometimes for years or
decades, and that people seeking such treatments are likely to be in the middle of an exacerbation.
In both cases, you can't conclude anything about the effectiveness of the treatment unless you
compare the people treated with a similar group of people who aren't treated.

As I've mentioned before, since I was quite young I would have several days in the summer/fall when
my hay fever was nearly incapacitating. That started to change the year I had turned 30, and within
a year or two I no longer had any such days. I didn't change anything I was doing at the time; I
still lived in the same place, and ragweed pollen levels didn't go down. The condition just went
away on its own. But what if, at the age of 29, I had tried some intervention in hopes of reducing
my hay fever symptoms? I'd have been inclined (it actually takes a conscious effort to prevent such
an attribution) to attribute the improvement at age 30 to that intervention. I'd have experienced
Results, yet whatever I would have done wouldn't have been effective. If, for example, I had somehow
gotten the notion into my head that eating a pound of sugar a day would make my hay fever go away,
it would *feel* like that daily pound of sugar gave me Results, even though my knowledge of
physiology tells me that it couldn't have and that indeed it would have been harmful to me.
 
P

Peter Moran

Guest
"Rod" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Thanks Peter, I do note that the study concludes that the homeopathic treatment is no better than
> the Placebo (I shall please) treatment. The problem is that the Placebo effect is rather major as
> it is used by science as the measure against "known/suspected" possible treatments. The problem I
> have is, why Science would use a measure of the "placebo effect" which is an accepted method for
> the basis of study and result. Is that not like saying " that we know that this will also
> influence the problem but we do not know why"
>
> How science can measure against a " Do not know why" is somewhat of a mystery, which of course is
> the "placebo effect"

Eric has eloquently explained to you (again) that what is commonly referred to as a "placebo effect"
is mostly no "effect" at all, it is the natural progress of the illness. This explains why they
don't work with serious illnesses like cancer or diabetes, although they can help make such patients
feel better..

Numerous other factors can make an inert treatment appear to "work" when it does nothing, such as
patients wanting to oblige their doctor by giving what they think is the "right" answer, becoming
habituated to symptoms, or simply focussing less upon symptoms when in a more supportive therapeutic
environment..

Also, as suggested by the ingenious study that follows, true placebo effects may be much weaker than
is commonly thought. Note that only subjective aspects of illness (patient perceptions regarding
symptoms) seem to be affected at all.

I suspect, however, that in more emotionally charged therapeutic environments placebos may have
stronger effects on symptoms than is shown in these controlled trials. An example might be someone
frustrated with poor medical care finding a devoted and sympathetic "alternative" carer.

N Engl J Med. 2001 May 24;344(21):1594-602.

Is the placebo powerless? An analysis of clinical trials comparing placebo with no treatment.

Hrobjartsson A, Gotzsche PC.

Department of Medical Philosophy and Clinical Theory, University of Copenhagen, Panum Institute, and
the Nordic Cochrane Centre, Rigshospitalet, Denmark. [email protected]

BACKGROUND: Placebo treatments have been reported to help patients with many diseases, but the
quality of the evidence supporting this finding has not been rigorously evaluated. METHODS: We
conducted a systematic review of clinical trials in which patients were randomly assigned to either
placebo or no treatment. A placebo could be pharmacologic (e.g., a tablet), physical
(e.g., a manipulation), or psychological (e.g., a conversation). RESULTS: We identified 130 trials
that met our inclusion criteria. After the exclusion of 16 trials without relevant data on
outcomes, there were 32 with binary outcomes (involving 3795 patients, with a median of 51
patients per trial) and 82 with continuous outcomes (involving 4730 patients, with a median of
27 patients per trial). As compared with no treatment, placebo had no significant effect on
binary outcomes (pooled relative risk of an unwanted outcome with placebo, 0.95; 95 percent
confidence interval, 0.88 to 1.02), regardless of whether these outcomes were subjective or
objective. For the trials with continuous outcomes, placebo had a beneficial effect (pooled
standardized mean difference in the value for an unwanted outcome between the placebo and
untreated groups, -0.28; 95 percent confidence interval, -0.38 to -0.19), but the effect
decreased with increasing sample size, indicating a possible bias related to the effects of
small trials. The pooled standardized mean difference was significant for the trials with
subjective outcomes (-0.36; 95 percent confidence interval, -0.47 to -0.25) but not for those
with objective outcomes. In 27 trials involving the treatment of pain, placebo had a beneficial
effect (-0.27; 95 percent confidence interval, -0.40 to -0.15). This corresponded to a
reduction in the intensity of pain of 6.5 mm on a 100-mm visual-analogue scale. CONCLUSIONS: We
found little evidence in general that placebos had powerful clinical effects. Although placebos
had no significant effects on objective or binary outcomes, they had possible small benefits in
studies with continuous subjective outcomes and for the treatment of pain. Outside the setting
of clinical trials, there is no justification for the use of placebos.

Peter Moran
 
J

Jan

Guest
>Subject: Individualised trial of homeopathy From: "Peter Moran" [email protected] Date: 2/5/2004
>11:44 PM Pacific Standard Time Message-id: <[email protected]
>02.brisbane.pipenetworks.com.au>
>
>Here is an example of a trial of homeopathic medicine where the homeopaths were given the
>opportunity to individualise treatment, as some homeopaths claim is necessary to their "art".
>
>Thorax 2003;58:317-321
>
>Individualised homeopathy as an adjunct in the treatment of childhood asthma: a randomised
>
>placebo controlled trial
>
>
>A White, P Slade, C Hunt, A Hart and E Ernst
>
>
>Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, Exeter
>
>EX2 4NT, UK
>
>
>
>
>Background: Homeopathy is frequently used to treat asthma in children. In the common classical form
>of homeopathy, prescriptions are individualised for each patient. There has been no rigorous
>investigation into this form of treatment for asthma.
>
>
>Methods: 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.
>
>
>Results: 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.
>
>
>Conclusions: 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.

A recent review of placebo controlled homoeopathic clinical trials in general concluded that the
effects of treatment cannot be attributed entirely to a placebo response." Linde K, Clausius N,
Ramirez G, Melchart D, Eitel F, Hedges LV, et al. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo
effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled trials. Lancet 1997; 350: 834-843

"What is already known on this topic: Homoeopathic remedies probably have an effect that is greater
than placebo" Editorial comment in BMJ 2002;324:520

BMJ 2000;321:471 476 (19 August) Randomised controlled trial of homoeopathy versus placebo in
perennial allergic rhinitis with overview of four trial series Morag A Taylor, research associatea,
David Reilly, honorary senior lecturer in medicinea, Robert H Llewellyn-Jones, lecturerb, Charles
McSharry, principal immunologistc, and Tom C Aitchison, senior lecturer in statisticsd aUniversity
Department of Medicine, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow G31 2ER, bDepartment of Psychological
Medicine, University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia, cUniversity Department of
Immunology, Western Infirmary, Glasgow G11 6NT, dDepartment of Statistics, University of Glasgow,
Glasgow G12 8QQ Abstract

Objective: To test the hypothesis that homoeopathy is a placebo by examining its effect in patients
with allergic rhinitis and so contest the evidence from three previous trials in this series.
Design: Randomised, double blind, placebo controlled, parallel group, multicentre study. Setting:
Four general practices and a hospital ear, nose, and throat outpatient department. Participants: 51
patients with perennial allergic rhinitis. Intervention: Random assignment to an oral 30c
homoeopathic preparation of principal inhalant allergen or to placebo. Main outcome measures:
Changes from baseline in nasal inspiratory peak flow and symptom visual analogue scale score over
third and fourth weeks after randomisation. Results: Fifty patients completed the study. The
homoeopathy group had a significant objective improvement in nasal airflow compared with the placebo
group (mean difference 19.8 l/min, 95% confidence interval 10.4 to 29.1, P=0.0001). Both groups
reported improvement in symptoms, with patients taking homoeopathy reporting more improvement in all
but one of the centres, which had more patients with aggravations. On average no significant
difference between the groups was seen on visual analogue scale scores. Initial aggravations of
rhinitis symptoms were more common with homoeopathy than placebo (7 (30%) v 2 (7%), P=0.04).
Addition of these results to those of three previous trials (n=253) showed a mean symptom reduction
on visual analogue scores of 28% (10.9 mm) for homoeopathy compared with 3% (1.1 mm) for placebo
(95% confidence interval 4.2 to 15.4, P=0.0007). Conclusion: The objective results reinforce earlier
evidence that homoeopathic dilutions differ from placebo
 
G

Gymmy Bob

Guest
You just hypnotized yourself into not noticing the symptoms anymore. You still have the allergy.

"Eric Bohlman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> "Rod" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
>
> > Thanks Peter, I do note that the study concludes that the homeopathic treatment is no better
> > than the Placebo (I shall please) treatment. The problem is that the Placebo effect is rather
> > major as it is used by science as the measure against "known/suspected" possible treatments. The
> > problem I have is, why Science would use a measure of the "placebo effect" which is an accepted
> > method for the basis of study and result. Is that not like saying " that we know that this will
> > also influence the problem but we do not know why"
> >
> > How science can measure against a " Do not know why" is somewhat of a mystery, which of course
> > is the "placebo effect"
>
> Much of what's labelled "placebo effect" is quite well known; it's simply the ordinary natural
> history of various conditions, which is quite predictable on average for large groups but is quite
> unpredictable on the individual level. Let's say, for example, that you're trying to evaluate the
> effectiveness of a proposed treatment for bedwetting in children. You *really* need to use a
> control group, because around half of all children who wet their beds at a given age will be dry a
> year from now even if you do absolutely nothing. Or say you're looking at a treatment for multiple
> sclerosis symptoms. The fact is that MS exacerbations often spontaneously resolve, sometimes for
> years or decades, and that people seeking such treatments are likely to be in the middle of an
> exacerbation. In both cases, you can't conclude anything about the effectiveness of the
treatment
> unless you compare the people treated with a similar group of people who

> aren't treated.
>
> As I've mentioned before, since I was quite young I would have several
days
> in the summer/fall when my hay fever was nearly incapacitating. That started to change the year I
> had turned 30, and within a year or two I no longer had any such days. I didn't change anything I
> was doing at the time; I still lived in the same place, and ragweed pollen levels didn't go down.
> The condition just went away on its own. But what if, at the age
of
> 29, I had tried some intervention in hopes of reducing my hay fever symptoms? I'd have been
> inclined (it actually takes a conscious effort to prevent such an attribution) to attribute the
> improvement at age 30 to
that
> intervention. I'd have experienced Results, yet whatever I would have
done
> wouldn't have been effective. If, for example, I had somehow gotten the notion into my head that
> eating a pound of sugar a day would make my hay fever go away, it would *feel* like that daily
> pound of sugar gave me Results, even though my knowledge of physiology tells me that it couldn't
> have and that indeed it would have been harmful to me.
 
E

Eric Bohlman

Guest
"Gymmy Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in
news:eek:[email protected]:

> You just hypnotized yourself into not noticing the symptoms anymore. You still have the allergy.

If I could do it when I was 30, why couldn't I have done it several years before? I was quite
surprised at what happened. Yes, I still get *mild* hay fever symptoms in the fall, but nothing
like before.
 
G

Gymmy Bob

Guest
This is quite weird but happens to many people with many symptoms. Magnesium intake removes almost
all my allergies until I stop. I believe this is a pH level thing. Perhaps a slight diet change?

"Eric Bohlman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> "Gymmy Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in news:eek:[email protected]:
>
> > You just hypnotized yourself into not noticing the symptoms anymore. You still have the allergy.
>
> If I could do it when I was 30, why couldn't I have done it several years before? I was quite
> surprised at what happened. Yes, I still get *mild* hay fever symptoms in the fall, but nothing
> like before.
 
A

Anth

Guest
I had allergies - every few months I would come down with terrible stuffy nose that stopped me from
breathing through my nose. I had my amalgams removed for cosmetric purposes and the stuffy nose is
no longer there. I also changed my diet. Anth

"Eric Bohlman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> "Rod" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
>
> > Thanks Peter, I do note that the study concludes that the homeopathic treatment is no better
> > than the Placebo (I shall please) treatment. The problem is that the Placebo effect is rather
> > major as it is used by science as the measure against "known/suspected" possible treatments. The
> > problem I have is, why Science would use a measure of the "placebo effect" which is an accepted
> > method for the basis of study and result. Is that not like saying " that we know that this will
> > also influence the problem but we do not know why"
> >
> > How science can measure against a " Do not know why" is somewhat of a mystery, which of course
> > is the "placebo effect"
>
> Much of what's labelled "placebo effect" is quite well known; it's simply the ordinary natural
> history of various conditions, which is quite predictable on average for large groups but is quite
> unpredictable on the individual level. Let's say, for example, that you're trying to evaluate the
> effectiveness of a proposed treatment for bedwetting in children. You *really* need to use a
> control group, because around half of all children who wet their beds at a given age will be dry a
> year from now even if you do absolutely nothing. Or say you're looking at a treatment for multiple
> sclerosis symptoms. The fact is that MS exacerbations often spontaneously resolve, sometimes for
> years or decades, and that people seeking such treatments are likely to be in the middle of an
> exacerbation. In both cases, you can't conclude anything about the effectiveness of the
treatment
> unless you compare the people treated with a similar group of people who aren't treated.
>
> As I've mentioned before, since I was quite young I would have several
days
> in the summer/fall when my hay fever was nearly incapacitating. That started to change the year I
> had turned 30, and within a year or two I no longer had any such days. I didn't change anything I
> was doing at the time; I still lived in the same place, and ragweed pollen levels didn't go down.
> The condition just went away on its own. But what if, at the age
of
> 29, I had tried some intervention in hopes of reducing my hay fever symptoms? I'd have been
> inclined (it actually takes a conscious effort to prevent such an attribution) to attribute the
> improvement at age 30 to
that
> intervention. I'd have experienced Results, yet whatever I would have
done
> wouldn't have been effective. If, for example, I had somehow gotten the notion into my head that
> eating a pound of sugar a day would make my hay fever go away, it would *feel* like that daily
> pound of sugar gave me Results, even though my knowledge of physiology tells me that it couldn't
> have and that indeed it would have been harmful to me.
 
A

Anth

Guest
Placebo's are not always inactive. This is demonstrated in a cheeky way with chelation for heart
disease. Both groups witnessed much improvement, showing that the 'active chelator' agent was
useless. Anth

"Peter Moran" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
01.brisbane.pipenetworks.com.au...
>
> "Rod" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
> server.bigpond.net.au...
> > Thanks Peter, I do note that the study concludes that the homeopathic treatment is no better
> > than the Placebo (I shall please) treatment. The problem is that the Placebo effect is rather
> > major as it is used by science as the measure against "known/suspected" possible treatments. The
> > problem I have is, why Science would use a measure of the "placebo effect" which is an accepted
> > method for the basis of study and
result.
> > Is that not like saying " that we know that this will also influence the problem but we do not
> > know why"
> >
> > How science can measure against a " Do not know why" is somewhat of a mystery, which of course
> > is the "placebo effect"
>
> Eric has eloquently explained to you (again) that what is commonly
referred
> to as a "placebo effect" is mostly no "effect" at all, it is the natural progress of the illness.
> This explains why they don't work with
serious
> illnesses like cancer or diabetes, although they can help make such
patients
> feel better..
>
> Numerous other factors can make an inert treatment appear to "work" when
it
> does nothing, such as patients wanting to oblige their doctor by giving
what
> they think is the "right" answer, becoming habituated to symptoms, or
simply
> focussing less upon symptoms when in a more supportive therapeutic environment..
>
> Also, as suggested by the ingenious study that follows, true placebo
effects
> may be much weaker than is commonly thought. Note that only subjective aspects of illness (patient
> perceptions regarding symptoms) seem to be affected at all.
>
> I suspect, however, that in more emotionally charged therapeutic environments placebos may have
> stronger effects on symptoms than is shown
in
> these controlled trials. An example might be someone frustrated with
poor
> medical care finding a devoted and sympathetic "alternative" carer.
>
> N Engl J Med. 2001 May 24;344(21):1594-602.
>
> Is the placebo powerless? An analysis of clinical trials comparing placebo with no treatment.
>
> Hrobjartsson A, Gotzsche PC.
>
> Department of Medical Philosophy and Clinical Theory, University of Copenhagen, Panum Institute,
> and the Nordic Cochrane Centre,
Rigshospitalet,
> Denmark. [email protected]
>
> BACKGROUND: Placebo treatments have been reported to help patients with
many
> diseases, but the quality of the evidence supporting this finding has not been rigorously
> evaluated. METHODS: We conducted a systematic review of clinical trials in which patients were
> randomly assigned to either placebo or no treatment. A placebo could be pharmacologic (e.g., a
> tablet),
physical
> (e.g., a manipulation), or psychological (e.g., a conversation). RESULTS:
We
> identified 130 trials that met our inclusion criteria. After the exclusion of 16 trials without
> relevant data on outcomes, there were 32 with binary outcomes (involving 3795 patients, with a
> median of 51 patients per trial) and 82 with continuous outcomes (involving 4730 patients, with a
> median of 27 patients per trial). As compared with no treatment, placebo had no significant effect
> on binary outcomes (pooled relative risk of an unwanted outcome with placebo, 0.95; 95 percent
> confidence interval, 0.88 to 1.02), regardless of whether these outcomes were subjective or
> objective. For the trials with continuous outcomes, placebo had a beneficial effect (pooled
> standardized mean difference in the value for an unwanted outcome between the placebo and
> untreated groups, -0.28; 95 percent confidence interval, -0.38 to -0.19), but the effect decreased
> with increasing sample size, indicating a possible bias related to the effects of small trials.
The
> pooled standardized mean difference was significant for the trials with subjective outcomes (-
> 0.36; 95 percent confidence interval, -0.47
to -0.25)
> but not for those with objective outcomes. In 27 trials involving the treatment of pain, placebo
> had a beneficial effect (-0.27; 95 percent confidence interval, -0.40 to -0.15). This corresponded
> to a reduction in the intensity of pain of 6.5 mm on a 100-mm visual-analogue scale. CONCLUSIONS:
> We found little evidence in general that placebos had
powerful
> clinical effects. Although placebos had no significant effects on
objective
> or binary outcomes, they had possible small benefits in studies with continuous subjective
> outcomes and for the treatment of pain. Outside the setting of clinical trials, there is no
> justification for the use of placebos.
>
> Peter Moran
 
E

Eric Bohlman

Guest
"Anth" <[email protected]> wrote in
news:[email protected]:

> I had allergies - every few months I would come down with terrible stuffy nose that stopped me
> from breathing through my nose. I had my amalgams removed for cosmetric purposes and the stuffy
> nose is no longer there. I also changed my diet.

It's remarkable to me how everybody missed the point of what I wrote. I didn't change *anything*,
and yet my allergies got less severe. My point, which I think at least both you and Gym Bob
deliberately don't want to get, is that it's a logical fallacy to leap directly from "I did this,
and that happened" to "that happened because I did this." Because I gave one example of a case where
there was a "that" but never a "this." And when alties talk about evaluating a treatment by its
"results" they simply mean "did that happen or didn't it." Such a process is called "jumping to
conclusions" and really should be an Olympic sport.

The whole *purpose* of the scientific method is to restrain our natural tendency to jump to
conclusions. Jumping to conclusions *feels* good, but then not everything that feels good is good
for us. That's why we need things like control groups, randomization, blinding and even placebos.
 
G

Gymmy Bob

Guest
Something **DID** change and it may have just been your immune system due to some diet change or
environmental change that you did years before. Just because you didn't perceive any change doesn't
make it true.

You are now telling us you did this whole "what's happening to me" scenario just to ridicule people
trying to help you?

"Eric Bohlman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> "Anth" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
>
> > I had allergies - every few months I would come down with terrible stuffy nose that stopped me
> > from breathing through my nose. I had my amalgams removed for cosmetric purposes and the stuffy
> > nose is no longer there. I also changed my diet.
>
> It's remarkable to me how everybody missed the point of what I wrote. I didn't change *anything*,
> and yet my allergies got less severe. My point, which I think at least both you and Gym Bob
> deliberately don't want to
get,
> is that it's a logical fallacy to leap directly from "I did this, and that happened" to "that
> happened because I did this." Because I gave one example of a case where there was a "that" but
> never a "this." And when alties talk about evaluating a treatment by its "results" they simply
> mean "did that happen or didn't it." Such a process is called "jumping to conclusions" and really
> should be an Olympic sport.
>
> The whole *purpose* of the scientific method is to restrain our natural tendency to jump to
> conclusions. Jumping to conclusions *feels* good, but then not everything that feels good is good
> for us. That's why we need things like control groups, randomization, blinding and even placebos.
 
P

Peter Moran

Guest
"Jan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> >Subject: Individualised trial of homeopathy From: "Peter Moran" [email protected] Date: 2/5/2004
> >11:44 PM Pacific Standard Time Message-id:
>
><[email protected]rks.com.au
>
> >
> >Here is an example of a trial of homeopathic medicine where the
homeopaths
> >were given the opportunity to individualise treatment, as some homeopaths claim is necessary to
> >their "art".
> >
> >Thorax 2003;58:317-321
> >
> >Individualised homeopathy as an adjunct in the treatment of childhood asthma: a randomised
> >
> >placebo controlled trial
> >
> >
> >A White, P Slade, C Hunt, A Hart and E Ernst
> >
> >
> >Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter
and
> >Plymouth, Exeter
> >
> >EX2 4NT, UK
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >Background: Homeopathy is frequently used to treat asthma in children. In the common classical
> >form of homeopathy, prescriptions are individualised for each patient. There has been no rigorous
> >investigation into this form
of
> >treatment for asthma.
> >
> >
> >Methods: 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.
> >
> >
> >Results: 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.
> >
> >
> >Conclusions: 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.
>
> A recent review of placebo controlled homoeopathic clinical trials in
general
> concluded that the effects of treatment cannot be attributed entirely to a placebo response."
> Linde K, Clausius N, Ramirez G, Melchart D, Eitel F,
Hedges
> LV, et al. Are the clinical effects of homoeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-
> controlled trials. Lancet 1997; 350: 834-843

Linde et Al dissociated themselves from that conclusion, and later study of the same data
suggested publication bias accounted for most of the supposed effect. A lot of negative trials
have surfaced since.

>
> "What is already known on this topic: Homoeopathic remedies probably have an effect that is
> greater than
placebo"
> Editorial comment in BMJ 2002;324:520
>
>
> BMJ 2000;321:471 476 (19 August) Randomised controlled trial of homoeopathy versus placebo in
> perennial
allergic
> rhinitis with overview of four trial series Morag A Taylor, research associatea, David Reilly,
> honorary senior
lecturer in
> medicinea, Robert H Llewellyn-Jones, lecturerb, Charles McSharry,
principal
> immunologistc, and Tom C Aitchison, senior lecturer in statisticsd aUniversity Department of
> Medicine, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow G31
2ER,
> bDepartment of Psychological Medicine, University of Sydney, New South
Wales
> 2006, Australia, cUniversity Department of Immunology, Western Infirmary, Glasgow G11 6NT,
> dDepartment of Statistics, University of Glasgow, Glasgow
G12
> 8QQ Abstract
>
> Objective: To test the hypothesis that homoeopathy is a placebo by examini
ng
> its effect in patients with allergic rhinitis and so contest the evidence
from
> three previous trials in this series. Design: Randomised, double blind, placebo controlled,
> parallel group, multicentre study. Setting: Four general practices and a hospital ear, nose,
> and throat
outpatient
> department. Participants: 51 patients with perennial allergic rhinitis. Intervention: Random
> assignment to an oral 30c homoeopathic preparation of principal inhalant allergen or to placebo.
> Main outcome measures: Changes from baseline in nasal inspiratory peak
flow and
> symptom visual analogue scale score over third and fourth weeks after randomisation. Results:
> Fifty patients completed the study. The homoeopathy group had a significant objective improvement
> in nasal airflow compared with the
placebo
> group (mean difference 19.8 l/min, 95% confidence interval 10.4 to 29.1, P=0.0001). Both groups
> reported improvement in symptoms, with patients
taking
> homoeopathy reporting more improvement in all but one of the centres,
which had
> more patients with aggravations. On average no significant difference
between
> the groups was seen on visual analogue scale scores. Initial aggravations
of
> rhinitis symptoms were more common with homoeopathy than placebo (7 (30%)
v 2
> (7%), P=0.04). Addition of these results to those of three previous trials (n=253) showed a mean
> symptom reduction on visual analogue scores of 28%
(10.9
> mm) for homoeopathy compared with 3% (1.1 mm) for placebo (95% confidence interval 4.2 to 15.4,
> P=0.0007). Conclusion: The objective results reinforce earlier evidence that
homoeopathic
> dilutions differ from placebo
>

Reilly is the only person who has been able to get consistent positive results from homeopathy, and
that only in allergies. When weighed against negative trials by others trying to repeat his
findings, the innumerable negative trials in other conditions, and the fact that better quality
trials are usually negative, this is very weak evidence for a very improbable thesis.

Peter Moran
 
M

Mark Probertfeb

Guest
"Eric Bohlman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> "Anth" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
>
> > I had allergies - every few months I would come down with terrible stuffy nose that stopped me
> > from breathing through my nose. I had my amalgams removed for cosmetric purposes and the stuffy
> > nose is no longer there. I also changed my diet.
>
> It's remarkable to me how everybody missed the point of what I wrote. I didn't change *anything*,
> and yet my allergies got less severe. My point, which I think at least both you and Gym Bob
> deliberately don't want to
get,
> is that it's a logical fallacy to leap directly from "I did this, and that happened" to "that
> happened because I did this." Because I gave one example of a case where there was a "that" but
> never a "this." And when alties talk about evaluating a treatment by its "results" they simply
> mean "did that happen or didn't it." Such a process is called "jumping to conclusions" and really
> should be an Olympic sport.
>
> The whole *purpose* of the scientific method is to restrain our natural tendency to jump to
> conclusions. Jumping to conclusions *feels* good, but then not everything that feels good is good
> for us. That's why we need things like control groups, randomization, blinding and even placebos.

What you describe is often called a 'logic trap'. And yours worked, thus proving two things.
 
M

Mark Probertfeb

Guest
Nope. he is telling you that he did it to show the fallacy of AltLogic.

"Gymmy Bob" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
> Something **DID** change and it may have just been your immune system due
to
> some diet change or environmental change that you did years before. Just because you didn't
> perceive any change doesn't make it true.
>
> You are now telling us you did this whole "what's happening to me"
scenario
> just to ridicule people trying to help you?
>
>
> "Eric Bohlman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:[email protected]...
> > "Anth" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:
> >
> > > I had allergies - every few months I would come down with terrible stuffy nose that stopped me
> > > from breathing through my nose. I had my amalgams removed for cosmetric purposes and the
> > > stuffy nose is no longer there. I also changed my diet.
> >
> > It's remarkable to me how everybody missed the point of what I wrote. I didn't change
> > *anything*, and yet my allergies got less severe. My
point,
> > which I think at least both you and Gym Bob deliberately don't want to
> get,
> > is that it's a logical fallacy to leap directly from "I did this, and
that
> > happened" to "that happened because I did this." Because I gave one example of a case where
> > there was a "that" but never a "this." And when alties talk about evaluating a treatment by its
> > "results" they simply
mean
> > "did that happen or didn't it." Such a process is called "jumping to conclusions" and really
> > should be an Olympic sport.
> >
> > The whole *purpose* of the scientific method is to restrain our natural tendency to jump to
> > conclusions. Jumping to conclusions *feels* good,
but
> > then not everything that feels good is good for us. That's why we need things like control
> > groups, randomization, blinding and even placebos.
 
M

Mark Probertfeb

Guest
"Jan" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> >From: "Peter Moran" [email protected] Date: 2/7/2004 1:05 PM Pacific Standard Time Message-id:
>
><[email protected]rks.com.au
>
>
> >Linde et Al dissociated themselves from that conclusion, and later study
of
> >the same data suggested publication bias accounted for most of the
supposed
> >effect.
>
> Nah,,,,,,,biased?!?! Why we have never heard of that,,,,here.
>
> OH YEAH,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,we can't see any at quack quack.

Peter forgot Rule #1 when posting to Jan. Use small concepts and explain everything.

> Sure thing.
>
> >Reilly is the only person who has been able to get consistent positive results from homeopathy,
> >and that only in allergies. When weighed
against
> >negative trials by others trying to repeat his findings, the innumerable negative trials in other
> >conditions, and the fact that better quality
trials
> >are usually negative, this is very
> weak evidence for a very improbable
> >thesis.
> >
> LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!
>
> *Substantial* *real* *solid* *convincing* *hard* *clear-cut* *reasonable* *significant*
> *credibile* *compelling* *thin* *weak*
>
ZZzzEEeeRRrrOO IQ by Jan.