Articles on Evidence based medicine

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How can we help the one in three people in hospital end-of-life care who suffer from delirium? from

Drugs for delirium don’t work, and may in fact harm

Antipsychotic medications for delirium don't work and could harm, a new study shows. So what options are left?
All dentists should be practising evidence-based dentistry for the sake of their patients. John Dill/Flickr

‘Holistic’ dentistry: more poppycock than panacea?

Holistic dentistry claims to promote overall wellness rather than simply treating disease. But the lack of evidence for the alternative therapies underpinning it are cause for concern.
Social workers can successfully work with most families that find themselves in trouble without taking their children away. Nadezhda1906/Flickr

Child protection: how to keep vulnerable kids with their families

After a long period of expansion in the number of children living in out-of-home care, most modern child protection systems around the world have been labouring to prevent such placements. Instead, they’re…
Homeopathic medicines are not drugs and homeopathy involves much more than the use of a particular therapy. Oonagh Taeger/Flickr

Does the weight of evidence signal the end of homeopathy?

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recently completed a review of the evidence for homeopathy’s effectiveness and, after analysing systematic reviews of clinical trials, concluded…
Mindfulness essentially involves the passive observation of internal and external stimuli without mental reaction. Image from

Meditation, mindfulness and mind-emptiness

Ever been unable to sleep because you can’t switch off that stream of thoughts that seems to flow incessantly, mercilessly through your head? When your mental noise distracts you from the task at hand…
There’s a conflict between the need for pharmacists to maintain a profitable business and their ethical obligations to the community. Andrew Dubber

Pharmacists should drop products that aren’t backed by evidence

If you look at the shelves of most Australian community pharmacies or browse the pages of local internet pharmacies, you’ll see numerous examples of products making claims that can’t be supported by scientific…
The aim of CER is to assess the effectiveness and worth of medical interventions in real-life scenarios. Image from

Explainer: what is comparative effectiveness research?

The evidence gleaned from medical research directly affects the decisions made about health care in Australia, driving everything from clinical practice guidelines, to which health interventions will and…
There is no convincing evidence that the therapy works. Cafemama

Aromatherapy: panacea or placebo?

PANACEA OR PLACEBO – A weekly series assessing the evidence behind complementary and alternative medicines. Aromatherapy is based on the idea that aromatic substances, usually the essential oils of plants…
One in four Australians take fish oil but the latest evidence shows it won’t improve the health of your heart. Flickr/wine me up

Monday’s medical myth: fish oil is good for heart health

Did you hold your nose and take your daily dose of fish oil this morning? Or perhaps you opted for an odour-free capsule? Well, you’re not alone. Around one in four Australians take fish oil supplements…
The Conversation’s health coverage: policy, chiropractic, obesity and medicine. AAP,, Puuiki Beach, LJA Kliche

Health + Medicine: reflections on our first year

In The Conversation’s first editorial meeting editor Andrew Jaspan explained what he wanted to achieve with the site: a more informed level of debate, based on evidence, research and expert opinion. It…
Systematic reviews help consumers, practitioners and policy makers identify what works. Kenny Holston 21/Flickr

How do we know what works? Systematic research reviews

We work at the Australasian Cochrane Centre and we dread being asked what we do for a living. This isn’t because we don’t like what we do, in fact we love it. It’s because when we explain that our job…
Despite placebos’ reputation as worthless therapy, many medical practitioners still use them. FML/Wikimedia Commons

Not just smoke and mirrors: placebo’s place in modern medicine

Belief is a powerful medicine but the term “placebo” has negative connotations. In modern evidence-based medicine, treatments considered worthless are described as no better than placebos. But this description…
The frequently cited Netherlands study doesn’t show it’s safe to give birth at home in Australia. Assy

Thinking about giving birth at home? Look at the evidence on safety

We’re fortunate to live in a society where robust evidence forms the basis of the information health-care professionals provide to patients – and home birth should be no exception. But the evidence about…
Media messages about food and portion size are confusing and aren’t always based on sufficient evidence. Floodkoff

Confused about what to eat for better health? NHMRC’s dietary guidelines might set you straight

When it comes to diet-related health claims, even the “good” newspapers are usually wrong, making recommendations about which foods people should eat (and avoid) that aren’t based on sufficient evidence…
All health-care providers should give patients evidence-based information – this includes chiropractors. Planetc

Modern chiropractic therapy is based on evidence – and here it is

Chiropractic has copped some criticism this week, with a group of prominent Australian doctors and scientists urging Central Queensland University to reverse its decision to offer a chiropractic degree…

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