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A philosopher's view of the long road from RCTs to effectiveness

Cartwright, Nancy (2011) A philosopher's view of the long road from RCTs to effectiveness. The Lancet, 377 (9775). pp. 1400-1401. ISSN 0140-6736

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Identification Number: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60563-1


For evidence-based practice and policy, randomised controlled trials (RCTs) are the current gold standard. But exactly why? We know that RCTs do not, without a series of strong assumptions, warrant predictions about what happens in practice. But just what are these assumptions? I maintain that, from a philosophical stance, answers to both questions are obscured because we don't attend to what causal claims say. Causal claims entering evidence-based medicine at different points say different things and, I would suggest, failure to attend to these differences makes much current guidance about evidence for medical and social policy misleading.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2011 Elsevier
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2011 10:28
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:13

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