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Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

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  #1  
Old 27th July 2011, 06:33 PM
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Default Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

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This blog post is a good worthwhile read:
Dr Elizabeth Thompson of Bristol Homeopathic Hospital finds that pills that contain nothing have no effect (not even placebo effect)
Quote:
It’s not surprising that publication was delayed. The results are completely negative, In fact it shows that the homeopathic treatment didn’t even produce a placebo effect, never mind an effect of its own.
Link to full story

It traces some of the history behind the paper, the people involved, the use of the freedom of information act and why clinical trials do need to be registered.
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Old 27th July 2011, 06:39 PM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Here is the actual publication:
The feasibility of a pragmatic randomised controlled trial to compare usual care with usual care plus individualised homeopathy, in children requiring secondary care for asthma
E.A. Thompson, A. Shaw, J. Nichol, S. Hollinghurst, A.J. Henderson, T. Thompson, D. Sharp
Homeopathy Volume 100, Issue 3, July 2011, Pages 122-130
Quote:
Objective
To test the feasibility of a pragmatic trial design with economic evaluation and nested qualitative study, comparing usual care (UC) with UC plus individualised homeopathy, in children requiring secondary care for asthma. This included recruitment and retention, acceptability of outcome measures patients’ and health professionals’ views and experiences and a power calculation for a definitive trial.

Methods
In a pragmatic parallel group randomised controlled trial (RCT) design, children on step 2 or above of the British Thoracic Society Asthma Guidelines (BTG) were randomly allocated to UC or UC plus a five visit package of homeopathic care (HC). Outcome measures included the Juniper Asthma Control Questionnaire, Quality of Life Questionnaire and a resource use questionnaire. Qualitative interviews were used to gain families’ and health professionals’ views and experiences.

Results
226 children were identified from hospital clinics and related patient databases. 67 showed an interest in participating, 39 children were randomised, 18 to HC and 21 to UC. Evidence in favour of adjunctive homeopathic treatment was lacking. Economic evaluation suggests that the cost of additional consultations was not offset by the reduced cost of homeopathic remedies and the lower use of primary care by children in the homeopathic group. Qualitative data gave insights into the differing perspectives of families and health care professionals within the research process.

Conclusions
A future study using this design is not feasible, further investigation of a potential role for homeopathy in asthma management might be better conducted in primary care with children with less severe asthma.
Here is what the blog post in the first message above had to say on the conclusion:
Quote:
That’s pretty feeble. They don’t state the conclusion as "homeopathy doesn’t work", far less that "homeopathy doesn’t even have a placebo effect". Just the eternal cry after every failed trial of magic medicine: the trial design was wrong and more research is needed.
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Old 27th July 2011, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Related threads:
Other threads tagged with homeopathy
Marigold therapy for bunions. An RCT
NHMRC declares homeopathy as unethical
Complementary medicine researcher slams homeopathy
Regulation plans for homeopathy
Snake Oil Gold
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Old 28th July 2011, 03:42 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Oh that is funny. In fact, Its hilarious!!!

Quote:
Conclusions
A future study using this design is not feasible,
So not only are the results not what we wanted but the whole design is bust.

I tell you what, I'll bet if the study had shown even the smallest hint of a success rate they would have thought the design was top notch!!

Sheeeesh. Just when you think it can't get any worse, it gets worse!!
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Old 28th July 2011, 03:50 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Reminds me of this study.....


http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/h...-201105313882/

Nice
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Old 28th July 2011, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Belinda,

I can't thank you enough. I've never heard of or read the Daily Mash. It is awesome!

Actually, come to think of it, the last thing I need is another distraction from doing actual work!

Robin
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Old 28th July 2011, 01:14 PM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Make sure you sign up for their regular email bulletins, they usually have me in tears (in a good way) just when I need it.

Cheers
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Old 28th July 2011, 01:37 PM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Done

Cheers
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Old 29th July 2011, 01:00 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

You DO have to love the daily mash.

Check out the horoscopes.
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Old 29th July 2011, 03:56 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

I did and, amazingly, they have someone that looks just like Guru Bob .........who would have thought?
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Old 29th July 2011, 07:12 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Ah guru bob . Whatever happened to him?
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Old 30th July 2011, 08:05 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Holly is my favourite.
http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/featur...-201107274127/


I feel a change of avatar coming on.............
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Old 30th July 2011, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Like the new look.
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Old 30th July 2011, 09:25 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Quote:
Originally Posted by blinda View Post
Holly is my favourite.
http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/featur...-201107274127/


I feel a change of avatar coming on.............

Nice. I like it
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Old 2nd August 2011, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Have a look at this from the BBC:

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Old 19th March 2012, 06:05 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Homeopathy is worthless....
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Old 19th March 2012, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Quote:
A spokesman for the Department of Health said: ‘We believe in patients being able to make informed choices about their treatment, and in a clinician being able to prescribe the treatment they feel most appropriate in particular circumstances, which may include complementary or alternative treatments such as homeopathy.’
Well, i suppose if someone wants to provide placebos on the NHS, its not dear is it?
Quote:
He said that in 2010 around 0.001 per cent of the overall drugs bill was spent on prescriptions for homeopathic medicines.
See? 0.001%. Tiny number. Thats just £84,000 a year! On small bottles of magic water. Why thats barely three nurses worth. And its not like they're making NHS staff redundant or anything is it.

Well, I say £84,000 , the spokesman was only referring to the actual cost of the magic water. The actual cost of the 3 homeopathic hospitals, according the the NHS themselves is £3-4 million pounds a year. And you can only run one and a bit A&E departments on that And lets face it, its not like closing them to save money is going toCause any problems is it now.

No, Keep the magic water I say! Patient choice over proven efficacy!
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Old 19th March 2012, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robertisaacs View Post
Well, i suppose if someone wants to provide placebos on the NHS, its not dear is it?


See? 0.001%. Tiny number. Thats just £84,000 a year! On small bottles of magic water. Why thats barely three nurses worth. And its not like they're making NHS staff redundant or anything is it.

Well, I say £84,000 , the spokesman was only referring to the actual cost of the magic water. The actual cost of the 3 homeopathic hospitals, according the the NHS themselves is £3-4 million pounds a year. And you can only run one and a bit A&E departments on that And lets face it, its not like closing them to save money is going toCause any problems is it now.

No, Keep the magic water I say! Patient choice over proven efficacy!
Hmmm. Bit grumpy today? Slight discomfort?
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Old 19th March 2012, 11:35 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Bit, yeah
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Old 14th April 2012, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

This week is Homeopathy Awareness week - I am aware of that.


Last edited by NewsBot : 14th April 2012 at 11:19 AM. Reason: youtube embed difficulty
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Old 15th April 2012, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Dear All,

Over the last few weeks there have been a couple of reports concerning Homeopathy.

The Professor of Complimentary Therapies at Exeter University has stated that Homeopathy does not even get the results of a placebo.

He even suggested that Homeopathy and practitioners may be fraudulent in their practice.

There were good articles in the Sunday newspapers and weekday newspapers reporting this.

Naturally the Homeopathic supporters are up in arms.

Saying that they cannot affford to do proper research to prove or disprove its efficacy.

As a student at a local college i discuss with other students who are doing complimentary therapies what they think. Well they are taught buy wrote and not taught to think.

So i gave one of them a copy of my professional journal on pain management and current practice and she was amazed at the in depth research ad the conclusions.

Ho Hum, so they are not taught to question or even to think.

many complimentary therapies are in trouble. Just look at the Complimentary therapy centre in Devon where the director has been struck off the medical register, but carries on doing what he was struck off for. He made the papers too.

it seems there is a desire to move from Science based care to charlatanism as it is considered NATURAL.

If i look at 25 years of practice as a pod much of what was considered good practice has since been proven to be inneffectual eg VP t/t modalities.

Regards David
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Old 17th April 2012, 04:03 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Maybe my logic is flawed and I am sure you will tell me if you think it is.

The effect of any treatment is made up of a placebo (psychological) effect, which is a constant, plus a physiological effect.

If this combined effect isn't as good as the placebo effect it doesn't mean that there is no placebo effect. It means that the treatment is harmful, ie the placebo effect plus the treatment effect equals zero, ie for example
1-1=0 where the placebo effect is +1 and the physiological effect is not 0 (no effect) but -1 (a harmful effect).

Bill
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Old 17th April 2012, 10:05 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Your logic Is flawed

This is a knackered study. One cannot trust it.

But besides that, one must also consider the nocebo effect. Or that the placebo effect, due to the way its delivered is <1. The placebo effect is a highly fluid variable. So to use your equation, We cannot calculate the physiological effect because we do not know all the value of the placebo in the equation.
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Old 17th April 2012, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

I always enjoy reading posts on Science Blogs by Orac - he has a way with words. His latest post is a classic:
Quote:
Periodically, I like to make fun of homeopathy and homeopaths. I realize that to some that might seem like the proverbial shooting of fish in a barrel, but it is amusing and educational.
Quote:
Well, yes, that's certainly true, but being scientifically refuted has never, to my knowledge, ever stopped a homeopath from, as Richard Dawkins once put it, paddling bravely up the river of pseudoscience. Of course, homeopathy doesn't even really qualify as pseudoscience given that there's nothing scientific about it and that in reality it shows far more similarity to sympathetic magic than anything else. In other words, there isn't even enough of patina of science slathered over the quackery to qualify as pseudoscience. It's magical thinking, pure and simple, in which homeopaths believe that diluting a remedy makes it stronger, but only if it is shaken vigorously (succussed) between each serial dilution step. Even more magically, they believe that it is possible for a compound that has been diluted many orders of magnitude more than Avagadro's number, such that it's exceedingly unlikely that even a single molecule of active substance remains, to have a therapeutic effect. They justify this by claiming that water has "memory" and retains some sort of "imprint" of the substance that it's been in contact with. Never mind that there's no evidence that water has "memory" beyond an extraordinarily brief period of time. Homeopaths are impervious to reason.
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Old 17th April 2012, 11:16 PM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Hi Robert,

Absolutely right Robert. It might have helped if I had looked at the study before I put in my contribution but why change the habit of a lifetime?


I can see that if the placebo effect is zero then there will be no statistical difference between the results of each arm of the study. Is this the case? It doesn't seem to be something that came up clearly in the discussion section of the report and a superficial look at the quantitative results seems to suggest a negative effect associated with HC? Whether or not it's statistically relevant doesn't seem to come up in the discussion.

The problem with magical thinking is that to a greater or lesser extent it seems to be inherent in almost all humanbeings. The greater the commitment to something, eg survival, the greater the likelyhood of magical thinking, eg love, hate, religion, science, growing food in a desert, etc, etc, etc.

As an evolved characteristic does that mean it gives us a survival advantage?
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Old 18th April 2012, 01:38 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Yep. It's called heuristic reasoning. It's the psychological process we use to "jump to conclusions". Generally those conclusions are good and the extra speed of thought processing gives an evolutionary advantage. Unfortunately it's also poison to science!
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Old 18th April 2012, 06:12 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Hi Robert,

I would like to thank you indirectly for helping me to find the truth.

The process went like this.

Your suggestion of heuristic reasoning sounded good to me.

What's heuristic reasoning?

As always fell back on WikiP. to answer that question and there was the revelation. Everythinbg fell into place. Yes you've probably guessed it, contained within the description of heuristic reasoning I saw the light, I discovered the unquestionable universal truth of the DOCTRINE OF SIGNATURES.

It sounds right to me i'n'it?

Bill
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Old 18th April 2012, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Payne View Post
I always enjoy reading posts on Science Blogs by Orac - he has a way with words. His latest post is a classic:
Quote:
Periodically, I like to make fun of homeopathy and homeopaths. I realize that to some that might seem like the proverbial shooting of fish in a barrel, but it is amusing and educational.
Quote:
Well, yes, that's certainly true, but being scientifically refuted has never, to my knowledge, ever stopped a homeopath from, as Richard Dawkins once put it, paddling bravely up the river of pseudoscience. Of course, homeopathy doesn't even really qualify as pseudoscience given that there's nothing scientific about it and that in reality it shows far more similarity to sympathetic magic than anything else. In other words, there isn't even enough of patina of science slathered over the quackery to qualify as pseudoscience. It's magical thinking, pure and simple, in which homeopaths believe that diluting a remedy makes it stronger, but only if it is shaken vigorously (succussed) between each serial dilution step. Even more magically, they believe that it is possible for a compound that has been diluted many orders of magnitude more than Avagadro's number, such that it's exceedingly unlikely that even a single molecule of active substance remains, to have a therapeutic effect. They justify this by claiming that water has "memory" and retains some sort of "imprint" of the substance that it's been in contact with. Never mind that there's no evidence that water has "memory" beyond an extraordinarily brief period of time. Homeopaths are impervious to reason.
Orac is at it again today with another classic:
http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/20...both_sides.php
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Old 18th April 2012, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

Wonderful.

I think the last sentance of Craig's link sums it up.
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that hand-waving about "complex information" and "chaotic dynamics" is nothing more than a modern version of a softly whispered magic spell or incantation made to sound like science.
I'm so stealing that. A softly whispered magic spell made to sound like science. The most poetic description of pseudo-science I've ever heard.

For some reason, all the b*****ks around proprioceptive insoles sprang to my mind...


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I would like to thank you indirectly for helping me to find the truth.

The process went like this.

Your suggestion of heuristic reasoning sounded good to me.

What's heuristic reasoning?

As always fell back on WikiP. to answer that question and there was the revelation. Everythinbg fell into place. Yes you've probably guessed it, contained within the description of heuristic reasoning I saw the light, I discovered the unquestionable universal truth of the DOCTRINE OF SIGNATURES.

It sounds right to me i'n'it?
Or the availability heuristic as I'd call it. Same fallacy.

If you really are interested in this stuff, can I recommend the quite excellent book "Inevitable Illusions: How Mistakes of Reason Rule Our Minds". Its very well written, approachable, and will change the way you think about thinking.
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Old 18th April 2012, 10:27 PM
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Default Re: Homeopathic Dr's Find That Homeopathic Pills do not Even Have A Placebo Effect!

It not only the Vibram FiveFingers that are facing a lawsuit over health claims, but so are homeopathic manufacturers:
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Five consumer lawsuits are pending in the U.S. against Boiron, the world’s largest manufacturer of homeopathic products. One lawsuit is also pending in Canada. As reported in a previous post, the U.S. plaintiffs claim they purchased homeopathic products, such as Coldcalm, Oscillo, Arnicare and Chestal Cough Syrup, based on Boiron’s misleading and false statements that they are effective for various ailments.
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