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Why and for what are clinical trials the gold standard?
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
2014 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 42, no 13, 41-48 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The epistemological basis of clinical trials and evidence-based medicine is investigated. Clinical trials are directly action-guiding experiments on treatment effects. This is the reason why well-performed clinical trials take precedence over all other types of studies as far as treatment effects are concerned. The efficiency of public health interventions can be studied with directly action-guiding experiments that have the same strong epistemic justification as clinical trials. However, in order to assess the causality of diseases, information from several types of studies will have to be combined. Here, no single type of studies has priority over all the others. Therefore, evidence hierarchies are less helpful in studies of causality than they are in investigations of the effects of treatments or interventions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 42, no 13, 41-48 p.
Keyword [en]
Action-guiding experiment, epistemic experiment, public health, evidence-based medicine, clinical trial
National Category
Philosophy Other Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-145783DOI: 10.1177/1403494813516712ISI: 000331466700005PubMedID: 24553853ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84894459871OAI: diva2:721338

QC 20140604

Available from: 2014-06-04 Created: 2014-06-02 Last updated: 2014-06-04Bibliographically approved

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