Ontario, Canada -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/02/2012 -- Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has been the catchcry of many physicians, researchers and others in the medical community since the dawn of this most recent millennium. As more and more medical professionals profess themselves to be supporters of what sounds, in theory, to be such a beneficial tack for the healthcare system to take, it’s interesting to note that there has been insufficient scrutiny as to the methods of EBM itself.
The premise initially seems like a sound one; that various medical treatments and interventions are assessed against published bodies of research in order to determine whether or not the potential benefit of any action taken outweighs the associated risks. Typically this takes the form of meta-analyses, as research results across the whole spectrum of published work on a topic are compared and the results of this comparison used to direct clinical best practice.
Now, the idea of medicine taking its cues from evidence and research seems like a hard one to query, but a recent article by Dr. Daniel Bader, Ph.D., calls into question the basic methodology that has defined medical practice over the last decade in his article "Three Problems With Evidence-Based Medicine."
Basing his criticism on a triad of fundamental flaws within the practice of modern EBM, Dr. Bader enlightens us to the reality of that practice – something which seems far removed from the ideal.
Examining the core methods of EBM, it’s easy to see how something seemingly benevolent in its intentions can be manipulated by those to whom healthcare is big business. It will surprise many to discover that, while there are numerous studies completed on a variety of medications which are yielding fascinating results, many are only submitted to the FDA and are not published in journals. As a result, these unpublished studies do not form a basis for the meta-analyses at the heart of EBM. The ramifications of this loophole in methodology? “It means that companies can simply cherry pick the studies that they like and publish them,” Dr. Bader confirms. “Then the meta-analyses will simply combine that cherry-picked data and combine it into a conclusion about overall effectiveness.”
If this one revelation isn’t chilling enough. Dr. Bader continues to uncover other fundamental weaknesses around the use of evidence within EBM, particularly as it applies to mental health, an interest close to his heart. While others love nothing more than to tear systems down. Dr. Bader also suggests relatively easy to implement solutions to a number of shortcomings within EBM, dogged in his determination to encourage the medical industry to operate on a highly transparent, ethical level.
So for all those looking for a new insight into what evidence-based medicine has really wrought on the health care industry, Dr. Bader’s article on BipolarToday.com is the ideal starting point. Hopefully it will encourage more people everywhere to critically examine the systems and competing interests which drive the direction of healthcare for often-vulnerable patients.
About "Bipolar Today”
"Bipolar Today" was founded with a mission to provide the latest news, information and commentary around the issues concerning bipolar disorder. Created by Dr. Daniel Bader Ph.D., "Bipolar Today" was born from an intense combination of personal and academic interest, as Dr. Bader himself was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1997. For more information, visit http://www.bipolartoday.com