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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. Lancet, 377 (9775). pp. 1400-1401. ISSN 0140-6736

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Abstract

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: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/issue/cur...
Additional Information: © 2011 Elsevier
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Sets: Departments > Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Research centres and groups > Centre for Philosophy of Natural and Social Science (CPNSS)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2011 10:28
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/31830/

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