Snake Oil Science: The Truth About Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Paperback | August 2, 2009

byR. Barker Bausell

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Hailed in the New York Times as "entertaining and immensely educational," Snake Oil Science is not only a brilliant critique of alternative medicine, but also a first-rate introduction to interpreting scientific research of any sort. The book's ultimate goal is to illustrate how the placeboeffect conspires to make medical therapies appear to be effective--not just to consumers, but to therapists and poorly trained scientists as well. Bausell explores this remarkable phenomenon and explains why research on any therapy that does not factor in the placebo effect (and other placebo-likeeffects) will inevitably produce false results. Moreover, as the author shows in an impressive survey of research from high-quality scientific journals, studies employing credible placebo controls do not indicate positive effects for alternative therapies beyond those attributable to random chance.Readers will come away from this book with a healthy skepticism of claims about the latest "miracle cure," be it St. John's Wort for depression or acupuncture for chronic pain.

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Hailed in the New York Times as "entertaining and immensely educational," Snake Oil Science is not only a brilliant critique of alternative medicine, but also a first-rate introduction to interpreting scientific research of any sort. The book's ultimate goal is to illustrate how the placeboeffect conspires to make medical therapies app...

R. Barker Bausell, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore, was Research Director of a National Institutes of Health-funded Complementary and Alternative Medicine Specialized Research Center.

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Too Simple to Fail: A Case for Educational Change
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Kobo ebook|Nov 1 2010

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see all books by R. Barker Bausell
Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 7.8 × 5.1 × 1 inPublished:August 2, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195383427

ISBN - 13:9780195383423

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Rise of Complementary and Alternative Therapies2. A Brief History of Placebos3. Natural Impediments to Making Valid Inferences4. Impediments That Prevent our Physicians and Therapists From Making Valid Inferences5. Impediments that Prevent Poorly Trained Scientists from Making Valid Inferences6. Why Randomized Placebo Control Groups Are Necessary in CAM Research7. Judging the Credibility and Plausibility of Scientific Evidence8. Some Personal Research9. How We Know that the Placebo Effect Exists10. A Bio-Chemical Explanation for the Placebo Effect11. Do CAM Therapies Work Or Are They Placebo Effects? Evidence From High Quality Randomized Placebo Controlled Trials12. Do CAM Therapies Work Or Are They Placebo Effects? Evidence From High Quality Systematic Reviews13. How CAM Therapies Are Hypothesized to Work14. Tying Up a Few Loose EndsNotesIndex