The Twilight of Expertise (part 9: clinical trials again)

An article in this week’s BMJ about problems with clinical trials makes some of the points I made in a recent post. The article is based on a London conference held last week. In my post, I said the evaluation of the Shangri-La Diet going on at the SLD forums was in many ways better than a clinical trial.

At the conference, a speaker complained that

key groups of participants were often excluded from clinical studies

I pointed out that anyone could post at the SLD forums.

Doug Altman, professor of statistics in medicine at Oxford University, said that the presentation of statistical results of clinical trials “lacked transparency and precluded any further analysis.”

I said that the forums are more transparent.

Paul Glasziou, director of the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine at Oxford University, warned that many clinical trials described treatments that were difficult to replicate in normal clinical settings.

I said that the forums were more realistic — meaning that the treatments being tested were closer to what actually could happen.

2 Replies to “The Twilight of Expertise (part 9: clinical trials again)”

  1. The funny thing about a double-blind clinical trial for the Shangri-La Diet: half the participants would be randomly assigned to drink sugar water, and the other half would be assigned to drink a sugar water placebo — so everyone would be on the Shangri-La Diet!!

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