I have recently heard several people mention that they think Naturopathy is not evidence based medicine. First off lets define evidence based medicine (EBM)= "the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of the individual patient. It means integrating individual clinical expertise with the best available external clinical evidence from systematic research." (Sackett D, 1996)
Evidence is categorized into three levels:
- Level I: Evidence obtained from at least one properly designed randomized controlled trial.
- Level II-1: Evidence obtained from well-designed controlled trials without randomization.
- Level II-2: Evidence obtained from well-designed cohort or case-control analytic studies, preferably from more than one center or research group.
- Level II-3: Evidence obtained from multiple time series with or without the intervention. Dramatic results in uncontrolled trials might also be regarded as this type of evidence.
- Level III: Opinions of respected authorities, based on clinical experience, descriptive studies, or reports of expert committees.
There is a 10% difference but when you consider there are 814,000 MDs (according to the AMA) in the country and only 2,000 NDs to provide clinical evidence and the support for alternative medicine research is consideribly less then conventional it is amazing that the gap is not larger.
Places to find CAMand conventional medical research:
- CRISP Database —Federally funded biomedical research projects (CRISP)
- CAM on PubMed—Journal citations specific to CAM (National Library of Medicine)
- Search for NCCAM-funded publications (National Library of Medicine)
- PubMed—Journal citations (National Library of Medicine)
- NIH Policy on Public Access to Research Information (NIH)