In their Sep/Oct 2014 Explore guest editorial, authors Ben Kligler, MD, MPH and John Weeks present an evenhanded look at how evidence-based medicine (EBM), versus evidence-informed medicine, is applied in real-world clinical settings.
Titled “Finding a Common Language–Resolving the Town and Gown Tension in Moving Toward Evidence-Informed Practice”, the article examines the endemic tension among conventional and integrative practitioners. The former who often delivers care (within 10 min clinical encounters) based solely on the gold standard double-blind RCT model originally developed for investigating single drugs and medical devices; the latter taking also into account the whole-patient (host) narrative, using evidence-informed as well as evidence-based methodologies applied daily within comprehensive integrative health clinical settings.
According to Kligler and Weeks:
“Conventional academic proponents of EBM are prone to diminishing the other components of the definition of EBM that, since its inception, has honored the subjective, individualized and tough to measure components of patient choice and practitioner experience. Unfortunately, our fervor to defend at all costs this approach to knowing what is good for our patients loses us the trust and confidence of our colleagues whose clinical practices are even more difficult to study using conventional research methods than are the drug-focused interventions for which these methods were designed.”
~Ben Kligler, MD, MPH and John Weeks
Does the RCT gold standard actually conflict with today’s evidence-informed, whole system, non-reductive integrative health practice? Most importantly, what’s the best path forward in terms of scientific exploration for these intervention sets, many in practice for several thousand years? Find out what Kligler and Weeks think here.
[FON thanks Explore and Elsevier for providing permission to distribute the article “Finding a Common Language” to its readers.]